Bankrate's Financial Security Index

Bankrate’s Financial Security Index gauges how Americans feel today versus a year ago on vital financial matters. An index value of less than 100 indicates declining levels of financial security; a value greater than 100 reveals higher levels of security compared to 12 months ago.

Despite political rhetoric in some circles that the economy is recovering from the depths of the last 5 years of recession, American consumers don’t seem to be convinced.  It is reported that according to the latest Financial Security Index from Bankrate, some 72% of Americans are still intentionally holding down spending because of concerns over the economy.  The spending slowdown could be attributed to a number of factors including the recent government shutdown, but those most frequently cited included stagnant income (32%), a need to save more money (24 percent) and broad general worries about the economy (20 percent), while another 11% cited excessive debt as the primary reason for reducing their spending.