While most economic indicators, from the official unemployment rate to the Dow Jones Index, point in a positive direction these days, many consumers still struggle with financial challenges
That’s the findings of a pair of recent surveys.
One of these, the Consumer Financial Stress Index from LegalShield, worsened to 90.8 from 90.4. This follows a 3.4 point increase in August.
The Index provides a read on the well-being of consumers based on the demand for certain legal services.
Though consumer finances are generally healthy, the Index predicts that spending will decline in coming months, said James Rosseau, LegalShield's chief commercial officer.
"Consumer spending accounts for a huge portion—more than two-thirds—of the U.S. economy," Rosseau said. "Although we're not expecting a poor retail season ahead, decision makers who are counting on a banner year for retail spending might be disappointed."
The LegalShield findings come on the heels of a negative report from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on the state of consumers.
Results from the CFPB’s national survey on the financial well-being of U.S. consumers that showed that more than 40 percent of U.S. adults struggle to make ends meet.
Of the nationally representative sample of consumers surveyed, 43 percent of consumers report struggling to pay bills. Additionally, over one third – 34 percent –of all consumers surveyed reported experiencing material hardships in the past year.