Locals with Investable Funds 3rd-Most Optimistic in U.S.

Fifty-seven percent of area residents believe that the local and national economy will improve in the next two years.

More residents in the Twin Cities metro area are confident about the future of their local and national economy than residents in all but two other urban areas, according to recently released results of a Wells Fargo survey that examined 12 major cities.
Fifty-seven percent of Twin Cities area residents believe that the local and national economy will improve in the next two years. The only urban areas in which a higher percentage of residents displayed that same confidence were San Francisco (65 percent of residents were confident) and Seattle (60 percent). Some urban markets with the least confidence were St. Louis (48 percent) and Dallas (42 percent).
The Twin Cities metro area was also above the national average in financial improvement and safety. Fifty-nine percent of local adults consider themselves financially comfortable, compared to 51 percent nationwide. And 58 percent say they are financially better off now than they were three years ago, more than the 51 percent nationwide who say the same thing.
Local residents are also more likely to be living within their means: Only 37 percent of Twin Cities adults reported having to cut back on expenses to make ends meet versus 45 percent nationally. And 55 percent of residents reported that they pay off their credit card balances every month, significantly higher than the 42 percent nationwide who could make that same claim.
Twin Cities residents also seem to be better equipped for times ahead as compared to residents living in other urban areas. Only 28 percent reported that they were unable to save for their future due to high expenses, compared to 39 percent nationwide.
The percentage of Twin Cities’ non-retirees who are concerned about paying their monthly bills is also lower than the U.S. average, but local residents are more focused on saving enough for retirement. Savings was the top financial concern for 35 percent of Twin Cities adults; nationwide, savings is the top concern for 28 percent.
Local non-retirees also expect more from their occupational retirement plans than most across the country: 42 percent of Twin Cities adults anticipate that most of their retirement income will come in savings from their workplace plan, compared to 33 percent nationwide.
Wells Fargo’s wealth, brokerage, and retirement group conducted the survey in November and December. Respondents were non-students, between the ages of 25 and 75, who are the primary or joint financial decision maker in a household with investable assets of at least $10,000. There were 1,105 respondents nationwide and 301 in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area.
Aside from the Twin Cities, the 11 other major urban areas that were part of the study are San Francisco, Seattle, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Diego, Las Vegas, Phoenix, St. Louis, Denver, Houston, and Dallas. 
Business optimism has also increased in Minnesota as companies plan to increase hiring and capital expenditures this quarter, according to Twin Cities Business’ quarterly economic indicator survey.