Texas consumers are feeling bullish going into 2014, their attitudes shaped by rising incomes, soaring home values, stable gas prices, and declining unemployment, 1200 WOAI news reports.
"They are looking more at purchasing cars, they are looking at the housing, they are looking to make changes, because they feel they have a little more money in their pocket," said Wendy Kowalik, President of Predico Partners, a San Antonio based financial planning company.
One thing that stands out in a survey by the Austin based digital coupon destination 'RetailMeNot' is that one thing Americans learned during the Great Recession is to shed debt, and Kowalik says that is good news all around.
"What we're finding is that people are really starting to step back, asking, do a really need that item, should I buy it, and really cracking down on debt," she said.
Indications are from the survey that the amount of debt racked up during the holidays was far lower than in previous years.
Kowalik says, in the long run, that's good news for retailers, and for the economy as a whole, because money that is spent paying off credit cards and other forms of debt service is money which can't be used to purchase new items.
One thing that stands out loud and clear in the study is that while we are wiling to shop, we are not willing to pay retail. Fully 67% of shoppers, including 72% of women, want retailers to offer more discounts in 2014 than they did in 2013.
Kowalik says that should be a clear message, that to thrive in today's new environment, retailers, even high end retailers, need to be price-conscious.
"Now retailers have to offer sales, they have to offer discounts, they cannot be more expensive in one place than they are in others."
But she says the 'wealth halo' is beginning to build around Texas consumers again, as incomes are outpacing inflation and home values make people feel better about their long term prospects.