economic optimism improvesWhile confidence in the economy tends to slide as generations age, a new Wells Fargo survey, How America Buys and Borrows, finds that, generally, people are more optimistic about the state of the economy in the New Year.

According to the survey, 78 percent of respondents expect the state of the economy will either stay the same or improve, and 81 percent believe their personal situation is either stable or improving. There is some variation in results depending on age. Among Millennials (ages 18 to 32), 79 percent say the current state of the economy is stable to strong, while 75 percent of Gen Xers (ages 33 to 48) say that and 70 percent of boomers (ages 49 to 65) say the same.

Expectations of improvement see a decrease as respondents get older, with 85 percent of Millennials expecting it to stay the same or get better; 80 percent of GenXers and 74 percent of boomers agree.

Regarding their personal finances, the drop is similar: 84 percent of Millennials say they are stable to strong, while 81 percent of GenXers and 78 percent of boomers say the same. Nearly all millennials (94 percent) expect their personal financial situations to either stay the same or get better, while 92 percent of GenXers and 86 percent of boomers agree.

At the same time, less than half of respondents across generations say they are prepared for unexpected expenses and emergencies (27 percent), would be able to get by for a few months if they lost their jobs (38 percent), or are saving more than they were five years ago (31 percent). And 81 percent said they needed to plan for significant expenses in the next couple of years, with the most common being travel (35 percent), taxes (35 percent), and home improvement (30 percent).

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