The financial recovery from the 2008-2009 recession is tepid from a consumer standpoint, with Americans only marginally better off in 2009 than they were one year earlier, according to a study by a financial education firm.
Debt-related phone calls that consumers placed to Financial Finesse Inc. decreased to 35% of calls in the fourth quarter of 2009, from 39% in the fourth quarter of 2008, according to the study. This change is a sign that consumers are beginning to recover, says Financial Finesse, Manhattan Beach, Calif.
The study report analyzes direct calls to the company’s helpline and online data from employees of over 300 employers across the country.
Among the report’s other findings:
–Retirement planning calls remained unchanged from fourth quarter 2008 to fourth quarter 2009 at a dismal 8% of total calls. There was a decline in most other financial planning calls as consumers focused instead on managing their day-to-day finances in response to the crisis.