NEW YORK (Reuters) - Financial advisers are bullish about the U.S. economy and expect consumers to increase their spending over the next six months, according to a Charles Schwab Corp study.
More than three-quarters of advisers expect the S&P 500 index to rise over the next six months, according to a semi-annual survey of more than 1,300 registered investment advisers who custody their assets with Schwab. The survey was conducted in January.
As a result their optimism, advisers are jumping back into the equity markets. Nearly 40 percent expect to invest more in U.S. large cap stocks over the next six months, versus just 27 percent in the previous survey conducted in July 2010.
Less than 10 percent of advisers expect to invest more in fixed income or cash investments over the next six months.
Advisers also say their clients are more upbeat than they were six months ago. Over half of advisers said their clients were more optimistic about their investment performance and the economy, which may lead to a rebound in consumer spending.
Over two-thirds of advisers expect to see a jump in consumer spending over the next six months, versus just 42 percent in the previous survey.
Still, advisers say their clients remain worried about retirement. Only 23 percent of advisers said their clients were more optimistic about being able to retire on time.
Advisers are also more upbeat about the housing market than they were six months ago. Thirty-eight percent think home prices will continue to fall, versus more than half last July.
Reporting by Helen Kearney; editing by John Wallace