Intro: How confident are you that the economic recovery will continue throughout 2012? Bankrate.com asked Americans that very question and here with the results is Senior Financial Analyst, Greg McBride.
Kristin: Greg, it seems like we've heard positive news about the economy lately, but people's opinions don't reflect that. What are people really thinking?
Greg: Well, we have had a much better tone to the economic reports in recent months. But, despite that, only half of Americans are confident the economic recovery will continue throughout 2012. More than 1-in-5 ... 22% ... say they are not at all confident about the recovery continuing and that could become a self-fulfilling prophecy if those same consumers remain hesitant to spend.
Kristin: Where do consumers feelings about financial security rank right now?
Greg: The Financial Security Index dipped slightly in March and has the same reading as one year ago. Three of the five components: debt, net-worth, and overall financial situation declined this month. Of the five components only job security has shown improvement over the last year.
Kristin: Well, that's a step in the right direction considering that among retirees only 12% say their financial situation is better now than a year ago. What other trends are you seeing?
Greg: Consumers that note an improving financial situation are most likely to be those under age 50, have a college education or have household income of at least $75,000 a year. The consumers whose financial situation is deteriorating tend to be those age 50 and older, have no more than a high school education or have household income under $30,000 a year.
TAG: Well, we'll take the positive job security news and see how much that changes things in the coming months ... and see if that is any momentum we can build upon. Thanks Greg for the information ... and if you would like to read more results on Bankrate's monthly Financial Security Index, just log on to our website. I'm Kristin Arnold.