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Consumers' Money Anxiety Index Lowest in 50 Years
USAgNet - 10/09/2018

The October Money Anxiety Index decreased to 43.0, the lowest level since November 1968. Consumers feel more confident about the economy than they did in the past 50 years. The elevated level of financial confidence is evident in the second quarter GDP (Gross Domestic product) of 4.2 percent - of which 70 percent is consumer consumption.

During the past 50 years, the Money Anxiety Index climbed up and down through 6 recessions. The highest level the Money Anxiety Index ever reached in the past 50 years was during the recession of 1980-1982, when the index peaked at a level of 135.3 - a record high for the index.

The Money Anxiety Index is inverse to consumer confidence indices, meaning that higher money anxiety is the equivalent to lower consumer confidence. It's an objective reflection of financial confidence. It measures what people actually do with their money rather than what they say in response to surveys. By contrast, other leading consumer confidence indices are based on a questionnaire that asks people what they think about the economy.

The index went as high as 100.4 in the aftermath of the Great Recession, and has declined gradually to 45.4 this August. Historically, the Money Anxiety Index fluctuated from a high of 135.3 during the recession of the early 1980s, to a low of 38.7 in the mid-1960s.

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