By US Daily Review Staff.
Bankrate.com’s November Financial Security Index poll, which was released today, revealed a broad spectrum of weak economic data. The overall index fell to its second-lowest level of the year, feelings of job security hit a new low and Americans planning to spend less this holiday season outnumbered Americans planning to spend more by a ratio of greater than four to one.
Forty-two percent of Americans intend to spend less this holiday season compared to what they spent last year, including 49% of parents. Just 10% of Americans plan to spend more than last year.
“Throughout 2011, we have observed that consumers are worried about their savings, job security, debt and net worth, and that trend has accelerated during the second half of the year,” said Greg McBride, CFA, senior financial analyst for Bankrate.com. “While consumers indicate a reluctance to spend more this holiday season, there is a notorious disconnect between how consumers feel and how consumers act, particularly regarding spending.”
Only 13% of Americans feel more secure in their jobs now than one year ago. This helped drag down the overall Financial Security Index to 92.5, narrowly above the 2011 low of 92.3 which was recorded in August. Any reading below 100 indicates decreasing levels of financial security compared to 12 months earlier.
Aided by October’s stock market rally, the percentage of Americans reporting higher net worth than one year ago rebounded slightly in November. Twenty-one percent of Americans reported higher net worth than one year ago, up from 19% last month, while 27% said their net worth is now lower, down from 30% in October’s poll.
Feelings on both savings and debt were largely unchanged from October, with only 11% of Americans more comfortable with their savings and 20% more comfortable with their debt relative to one year ago.
The new study was conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International (PSRAI) and can be seen in its entirety here: http://www.bankrate.com/finance/consumer-index/financial-security-poll-1111.aspx.
The PSRAI November 2011 Omnibus Week 1 obtained telephone interviews with a nationally representative sample of 1,005 adults living in the continental United States. Telephone interviews were conducted by landline (601) and cell phone (404, including 185 without a landline phone). Interviews were done in English by Princeton Data Source from November 3-6, 2011. Statistical results are weighted to correct known demographic discrepancies. The margin of sampling error for the complete set of weighted data is ± 3.7 percentage points.
According to a company statement, “Bankrate is a leading publisher, aggregator and distributor of personal finance content on the Internet. Bankrate provides consumers with proprietary, fully researched, comprehensive, independent and objective personal finance editorial content across multiple vertical categories including mortgages, deposits, insurance, credit cards, and other categories, such as retirement, automobile loans, and taxes. The Bankrate network includes Bankrate.com, our flagship website, and other owned and operated personal finance websites, including CreditCards.com, Interest.com, Bankaholic.com, Mortgage-calc.com, CreditCardGuide.com, Nationwide Card Services, InsuranceQuotes.com, CarInsuranceQuotes.com, InsureMe, Bankrate.com.cn, CreditCards.ca, NetQuote.com, and CD.com. Bankrate aggregates rate information from over 4,800 institutions on more than 300 financial products. With coverage of nearly 600 local markets in all 50 U.S. states, Bankrate generates over 172,000 distinct rate tables capturing on average over three million pieces of information daily. Bankrate develops and provides web services to over 80 co-branded websites with online partners, including some of the most trusted and frequently visited personal finance sites on the Internet such as Yahoo!, AOL, CNBC and Bloomberg. In addition, Bankrate licenses editorial content to over 500 newspapers on a daily basis including The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times and The Boston Globe.”