NEW YORK — The Bankrate.com Financial Security Index fell to a 2012 low in September. Four of the five categories dropped over the past month (job security, savings, debt and overall financial situation) and the net worth reading held steady.
In the past 12 months, net worth is the only component of financial security that has improved. Americans’ comfort level with their debt turned negative in September for the first time since March.
“The disappointing August jobs report took a toll on Americans’ feelings of financial security,” said Greg McBride, CFA, Bankrate.com’s senior financial analyst. “Those ages 50-64 are still more likely than other age groups to say they feel less secure in their jobs now than one year ago and that their overall financial situation has deteriorated in the past 12 months.”
September’s overall Financial Security Index score (96.6) is the lowest since the 95.8 that was measured in Dec. 2011. Readings lower than 100 indicate that Americans have less financial security than 12 months previous. The index has been below 100 in 20 of the 22 months since its inception in Dec. 2010.
The new survey 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-charts-0912.aspx.
The PSRAI September 2012 Omnibus Week 1 obtained telephone interviews with a nationally representative sample of 1,012 adults living in the continental United States. Telephone interviews were conducted by landline (604) and cell phone (408, including 189 without a landline phone). Interviews were done in English by Princeton Data Source from September 7-9, 2012. 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.
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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.
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