CBA/AOL Finance Optimism Turns Positive for First Time in 6 Months

July 24, 2014
Washington, D.C. (July 24, 2014) – The Consumer Bankers Association (CBA) and AOL Inc. (AOL) monthly Finance Optimism Index has found American’s optimism turned positive for the first time in 6 months. The optimism level for June 2014 was a positive 3.8, with 51.9 percent of Americans feeling optimistic. Survey respondents reported the news they have been hearing about American’s finances has been more positive than in months past. Americans were also less worried about their current financial situation. This may be linked to better corporate earnings and higher stock market levels. In addition, existing home sales hit an eight-month high in June.  

Together with the CBA, AOL has been conducting research to better understand consumer attitudes about their finances. The Finance Optimism Index tracks optimism through agreement with 4 statements in a survey: 

  1. I am optimistic about my personal financial future.
  2. I am worried about my current financial situation.
  3. The news I’ve been hearing in the past few weeks about Americans’ personal finances has been generally positive.
  4. I am worried that the current economic and political situation is going to affect my personal finances.

The June 2014 survey found the amount of respondents who strongly agree that the current economic and political situation is going to affect their personal finances decreased 3 percent to 32 percent, showing a decline in concern by respondents. In addition, those who strongly agreed they feel optimistic about their personal financial future increased 4 percent to 24 percent. Overall 72 percent of respondents agreed they feel optimistic about their personal financial future.

  The Index is calculated as the percentage of respondents who are optimistic minus the percentage of respondents who are pessimistic. Index values above 0 indicate more respondents felt optimistic than pessimistic, and Index values below 0 indicate more respondents felt pessimistic than optimistic. Survey questions are asked to a random national sample of approximately 1,600 U.S. Online Adults Ages 18+ every month in the AOL/Ipsos MediaCT Brand Tracking Survey. 

Other indexes that track consumer sentiment focus on economic and business conditions, with less emphasis on how Americans perceive their own personal financial situation. The Finance Optimism Index differs in that it measures the level of financial optimism of individual Americans through their responses to four survey questions and explores factors that influence these attitudes.  

The Index is measured continuously with results calculated and reported monthly

About CBA
The Consumer Bankers Association (CBA) is the trade association for today's leaders in retail banking - banking services geared toward consumers and small businesses. The nation's largest financial institutions, as well as many regional banks, are CBA corporate members, collectively holding two-thirds of the industry's total assets. CBA’s mission is to preserve and promote the retail banking industry as it strives to fulfill the financial needs of the American consumer and small business.

About AOL
AOL Inc. (NYSE: AOL) is a brand company, committed to continuously innovating, growing, and investing in brands and experiences that inform, entertain, and connect the world. The home of a world-class collection of premium brands, AOL creates original content that engages audiences on a local and global scale. We help marketers connect with these audiences through effective and engaging digital advertising solutions.


The Consumer Bankers Association is the recognized voice on retail banking issues in the nation’s capital. Founded in 1919, CBA provides leadership, education, research and federal representation on retail banking issues. For more information, please contact Tom Crosson,, (703) 869-1246 or visit