The middle-class savings rate has tumbled to an eight-month low, First Command Financial Services Inc. reports.

The First Command Financial Behaviors Index found consumers put an average of $1,059 into short- and long-term savings in June, down from $1,469 in January, the high for the year.

It was the lowest monthly savings total since October 2009, when short- and long-term savings averaged $957, says First Command, Fort Worth, Texas, a financial advisor serving military families.

Consumers paid an average of $2,234 on short- and long-term debt vehicles in June, up 10% from $2,033 in May. But the increased effort to pay off debt meant consumers savings-to-debt ratio fell to 39% in June, down from 44% in the first quarter.

“The intensifying focus on debt reduction suggests that consumers are clearing the decks of their financial lives in preparation for what could be a slower-than-expected economic recovery,” said Scott Spiker, CEO of First Command.

First Command bases its index on a monthly survey of around 1,000 U.S. consumers aged 25 to 70 with annual household incomes of at least $50,000.

tt