A newpoll from Bankrate.comshows that only 17% of Americans feel better off financially than they were a year ago.
Bankrate.com’s monthly Financial Security Index fell from 93.9 to 92.8 in October, its second lowest level this year. According to Bankrate.com, anything below 100 is a clue that in general, people are feeling less financially secure compared to 12 months ago.
I am doing better.\r\nI am about the same.I am starting to struggle.I am much worse.I am thinking about bankruptcy.Vote
Just how low folks are feeling? Only 11% of Americans said they were more comfortable with their savings now that a year ago, which was a new low. And when it comes to debt, only 20% said they were more comfortable than they were 12 months ago. That percentage has dropped monthly since June.
Meanwhile, 19% said their net worth was higher than this time last year, compared to some 30% who said their net worth had dipped.
Seniors are the group that’s most earnestly crying the blues: 34% of those ages 50-64 surveyed, said they feel less secure in their jobs; 56% said they feel less comfortable with their savings, and only 5% are more comfortable. Nearly 40% of retirees say their overall financial situation is worse than a year ago, and a mere 7% are feeling things are better.
Economists say consumer confidence has been shaken by persistent weakness in the job market and the sustained slump in the real estate industry.
William “Joey” Smith, an economist with the University of West Georgia, said only when jobs come back will the housing industry bounce back.
“Job growth is needed for the housing sector to rebound,” he said. The rate of foreclosures has declined in most areas, but is still at a rate that causes concern, he says, and that only adds to the economic uncertainty that plagues the nation. Smith spoke at UWG’s annual economic forecast breakfast in Carrollton, Ga.