[Begin VIDEO with Bankrate.com anchor, Kristin Arnold introducing video topic]
We ended 2011 on an up note with a jump in Americans' feelings about financial security, but is that momentum carrying over into 2012? Bankrate.com is out with the monthly Financial Security Index, and here to discuss is Greg McBride, senior financial analyst for Bankrate.com.
[Cut to a double screen of Kristin Arnold and Greg McBride]
Kristin: How are Americans feeling about financial security as we start 2012?
Greg: The Financial Security Index jumped for the second month in a row and is currently at a 7 month high. Further, we saw improvement in each component of the index - job security, net worth and overall financial situation.
Kristin: We're actually seeing some positive indicators now, aren't we?
Greg: Yes we are. Job security turned positive for the first time since May, with 20% of Americans feeling more secure in their jobs than one year ago ... while 17% feel less secure. Feelings on net worth also turned positive for the first time since July, with 24% of Americans reporting higher net worth and 22% having lower net worth than one year ago. But the overall financial situation is still seen as negative, with 28% saying it's worse than one year ago ... 23% saying it's better.
Kristin: How did Americans' holiday spending compare to what they'd expected?
Greg: More than half of Americans, 56%, spent about what they'd expected this holiday season. Just 17% spent more than expected, compared to 19% last year. About 1-in-4 spent less than they'd expected, ad that to too and it's comparable to what people had done last year.
[Cut to one shot of Kristin on camera talking]
Tag: Ok, some positive news to start out the New Year. Thanks Greg for that for more information ... and to see how you stack up against other Americans, just go to Bankrate.com.