By The Numbers
Main Street and Wall Street at odds.
Contrary to many Wall Street predictions, Main Street is paying down debt and not spending in 2014.
BLOOMINGTON - When it comes to economics, Wall Street predictions don’t seem to be dictating Main Street sentiments. According to the latest COUNTRY Financial Security Index® survey, consumers may beg to differ – in some cases, a lot – on issues like job security, spending, income and debt.
“Americans tend to just start feeling optimistic about positive economic news as the macro environment takes a sharp left turn. Perhaps because of this, they have learned from the volatility of the last few years and are more cautious,” says Troy Frerichs, senior investment officer at COUNTRY Financial®. “The best way to beat Wall Street’s odds, or meet them in this case, is to concentrate on what you can control and look at the new year as a time to evaluate and make any necessary changes to your financial plan.”
At least we can all agree on somethingJanuary 14, 2014
Wall Street forecasts that after record post-recession increases in 2013, economists expect a leveling off of household debt this year. Consumer debt is expected to continue to increase, but there is also an anticipated increase in those paying down debt.**** Main Street agrees with thirty-seven percent saying they expect their personal debt to decrease in 2014. Of those, one in five plan to pay it down by at least 10 percent. Another 46 percent say the amount of personal debt they have will stay the same and just 11 percent expect it to increase.
“At a time when Americans are also experiencing low wage growth, it’s encouraging to see they are using their money to pay down debts, leaving little room for discretionary spending. By curbing their spending and decreasing personal debt, Americans are better positioned to achieve financial security,” continues Frerichs. "Creating a financial plan and sticking to a budget helps to ensure that paying down debt the last few years won’t be in vain when times do get better. It helps to reduce uncertainty by focusing on things you can control, like what you do with your money."
For more information on how Main Street sentiments compare with Wall Street predictions, please visit www.countryfinancialsecurityblog.com.
The COUNTRY Financial Security Index
Since 2007, the COUNTRY Financial Security Index has measured Americans’ sentiments of their personal financial security. The COUNTRY Index also delves deeper into individual personal finance topics to better inform Americans about the issues impacting their finances. Survey data, videos and analysis are available at www.countryfinancialsecurityblog.com and on Twitter at @FinanceSecure.
The COUNTRY Index was created by COUNTRY Financial and is compiled by Rasmussen Reports, LLC, an independent research firm, based on a national telephone and online survey of at least 3,000 Americans.
The margin of sampling error for a survey based on this many interviews is approximately +/- 2 percentage points with a 95 percent level of confidence.
About COUNTRY Financial
COUNTRY Financial (www.countryfinancial.com) serves about one million households and businesses throughout the United States. It offers a full range of financial products and services from auto, home and life insurance to retirement planning services, investment management and annuities.
Ogilvy Public Relations