Holding Back! A Look at American Consumer Spending

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weight: bold;”>By USDR

Almost three in four Americans are holding back on spending, according to a new Bankrate.com (NYSE: RATE) report. Stagnant income is the most frequent reason (32%), followed by the need to save more (24%) and worries about the economy (20%). Just 27% of Americans say they are not holding back spending at all.

“With hundreds of thousands of government employees furloughed and many government contractors reeling from the shutdown, feelings of job security plummeted to the lowest level in nearly two years,” says Greg McBride, CFA, Bankrate.com's senior financial analyst. “Seventy percent of the economy relies on consumer spending, so when this many consumers are cutting back, it's going to be hard for the economy to get out of first gear.”

Almost twice as many employed Americans are feeling less secure in their jobs now than those who are feeling more secure. Every age and income bracket feels less secure, led by the 50-64 age group.

Bankrate's Financial Security Index ticked lower for a fourth consecutive month and fell to its lowest point since February, as Americans feeling worse about their overall financial situations outnumber those feeling better for only the third time this year. The Financial Security Index currently stands at 97.4. Readings below 100 indicate deteriorating financial security compared with one year previous.

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Additional Findings:

  • Every age and income bracket is feeling less comfortable with the savings they have now compared to one year ago.
  • Among 50-64 year olds, those less comfortable with their savings outnumber those more comfortable by a three-to-one margin.
  • Every age and income bracket reports higher net worth than one year ago, except households with income under$30,000.
  • Americans under age 50 are more likely to say their overall financial situation is better now than one year ago, while those 50 and older typically say it is now worse.

The survey was conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International (PSRAI) and can be seen in its entirety here:


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PSRAI obtained telephone interviews with a nationally representative sample of 1,000 adults living in the continental United States. Interviews were conducted by landline (500) and cell phone (500, including 250 without a landline phone) in English by Princeton Data Source from October 3-6, 2013. Statistical results are weighted to correct known demographic discrepancies. The margin of sampling error for the complete set of weighted data is plus or minus 3.7 percentage points.

All opinions expressed on USDR are those of the author and not necessarily those of US Daily Review.