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Spring Brings Mixture of Financial Optimism and Caution

April 18, 2012 4:04 am

Spring seems to be breathing new life into consumer’s attitudes toward their financial outlook. The bi-monthly measure of Americans' sentiments toward their overall financial security, the Country Financial Security Index®, inched up 0.4 points from February to 66.2. This uptick marks the fourth consecutive increase in financial security sentiments, the longest in the survey's five-year history.

According to the report, improvements in savings and optimism about college funding helped drive the overall increase.
  • 53 percent were able to set aside money for savings this month, a three-point increase from February. This is the highest percentage of those able to save since October 2008.
  • Those confident in their ability to send their children to college jumped five points to 61 percent.
  • Despite these gains, Americans seem undecided about the future of their financial security.
  • Confidence in retirement savings and overall financial security both dropped one point to 57 and 41 percent, respectively.
  • Americans who said their overall level of financial security was getting worse inched up two points to 39 percent.
More than any other age group, 40-49 year olds exhibited strong optimism in both their short- and long-term money matters this month.
  • 81 percent were confident in their ability to pay debts, up nine points. There was also a 13-point jump to 58 percent in those able to set aside money for savings.
  • 64 percent were confident in their ability to send their children to college, a 12-point increase from February.
  • Confidence in retirement and those who rate their overall financial security positively were both up six points to 57 percent and 41 percent, respectively.

Published with permission from RISMedia.

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