Five years after the end of the Great Recession, many Americans are experiencing financial strains. And these pressures are showing up in surveys.
Back in January, the Hartford Funds reported that Americans’ financial anxiety is causing them to miss investment opportunities, forgo higher returns in favor of low risk/low yields vehicles and not follow through on necessary financial planning. And on April 24, Financial Finesse unveiled a study pointing to a rise in financial stress due to “internal factors” — those within the survey respondents’ control.
Now there’s word that improvement in the level of Americans’ financial anxiety has stalled following improvements in 2013.
So reports the first quarter 2014 release of the Money Anxiety Index, which measures various economic indicators and factors associated with consumers’ level of financial worry and stress. Updated on the second Monday of each calendar month, the index consists of monthly measurement for more than 50 years, and spans from January 1959 to date.
At the close of the first quarter, the index remained mostly flat at 78.7. Historically, the Money Anxiety Index has fluctuated from a high of 135.3 during the recession of the early 1980s, to a low of 38.7 in the mid-1960s. The 50-year average is 70.7 (July 1980 = 100).