Consumers uncertain of financial stability to begin new year

Consumers have become less confident of their financial standing since the holiday season American consumers are more worried about their financial stability in the new year, as the latest Country Financial Security Index saw the largest bi-monthly drop in its history in February.

The index, which was released on Tuesday, declined by 3.2 points to hit 63.1 in February. Following an increase in the index to end 2009, the most recent findings suggested that consumers had shifted their opinions on their finances and become more wary about where they stood.

The number of consumers who were confident their home, car, and possessions were adequately insured fell by 5 points to 79 percent in February, while the number of consumers who classified their finances as "good" fell 9 points to 35 percent.

Vice President of Country’s Financial Security Planning Keith Brannan said that consumer sentiments often suffered from seasonal doldrums in the beginning of the year as a need to consolidate debt accompanied the arrival of bills from the holiday season.

"This year’s decline is more severe, however, and probably represents the struggle to remain patient with our nation’s financial recovery," Brannan said. "If there is good news, it’s that most families can achieve financial security, even if it’s difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel right now."

The survey also found that the number of consumers who said they had been putting money aside for savings had dropped 7 points to 43 percent.