Poll: Consumers less worried about their debt

Total household debt has decreased by 3 percent since its peak in early 2008, according to Federal Reserve data. 

Keeping with that trend, during the holidays, more than 80 percent say they'll use credit cards to purchase gifts but they expect to pay off those bills when they get the statement, up from two-thirds who said so two years ago, the poll said.

In addition, more than half — 52 percent — said they rarely or never worry about their debt, about the same as last year but the first time that more than half said so since an AP poll first asked the question in 2004.

Still, some of those asked were more concerned about their financial situation. 

About one in eight expressed worry about ever getting out of debt, one in five acknowledged brooding about IOUs all or most of the time, and one in 10 predicted their debt will be a major problem for the next five years.

Consumer spending, which accounts for about 70 percent of economic activity, has grown at its fastest rate in four years, but the increases aren't boosting growth as the unemployment rate remains near 10 percent, leaving customers with uncertainty.