Consumers Report Poor Finances, Decreased Spending: Survey Results
Twice as many Americans polled said they are worse off this year than did respondents the previous year, according to a statement from Consumer Reports Thursday. Almost one-third - 32 percent, to be exact - of respondents to an October telephone survey said their finances were worse this year than last year. Major concerns plaguing respondents were retirement, college funds and healthcare, the report said. A total of 55 respondents reported concern for the safety of their banking accounts and 60 percent said they worried about a decreased home value. Read the statement. "The results show people are still very nervous and confused about what to do next," said Consumer Reports money editor Noreen Perrotta. "We took a look at many of the major personal money concerns and developed strategies to help people ride out the storm." Of the survey's respondents, 56 percent indicated cut backs on entertainment and eating out, while 53 percent reported reduced credit card spending and 50 percent said they planned to cut down on holiday spending, according to the survey. The survey came just hours before the Commerce Department announced Friday that consumer spending in September fell 0.3 percent from the previous month, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal. Meanwhile, savings as a percent of disposable income increased from 0.8 percent in August to 1.3 percent in September, showing a real buckling down on American budgets as economic woes picked up speed last month. Write to Diana Golobay at email@example.com.