Fifty-five percent of affluent Americans think the economy will improve in the next three months, according to McDonald Financial’s Affluent Consumer Confidence Index. Although the confidence score was 44 out of 100, reflecting an overall negative outlook on the economy, the score has increased 10% since the last survey in April, when the score was 40.

Thirty-two percent reported that their economic situations had improved, up from 14% in April, and 60% expect the S&P 500 to rise in the next three months, up from 53% in April. Another 60% said they do not think the economy is in a recession, a nine percentage-point increase since April.

"Between the conclusion of major combat in Iraq and the potential stimulus effect of the tax cuts, affluent Americans appear to believe the necessary building blocks for economic recovery are in place," said Brad Turner, senior managing director at McDonald Financial.

Affluent Americans’ investment plans are tepid, however. Only 27% plan to invest more in the stock market over the next three months, up only slightly from 23% who reported such plans in April.

Research firm Penn, Schoen and Berland conducts the surveys for McDonald Financial every quarter. July’s survey was based on interviews with 400 individuals throughout the nation who either have more than $500,000 invested or annual incomes of $150,000 or greater.

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