Fed Survey: 1/3 of Americans say they are worse off 5 years after recession
There's a lot of economic anxiety in America today, so it's no surprise that the Federal Reserve has discovered substantial pessimism about Americans' own personal financial situation. The Feds most recent survey shows that 1/3 of Americans believe themselves to be worse off 5 years after the recession ended.
More American households say they are worse off rather than better five years after the recession, a new Federal Reserve survey found.
The report, released for the first time on Thursday, found 34% of households said they were “somewhat worse” or “much worse” financially in 2013 compared to 2008. Only 30% reported being better off to some degree.
Considering that respondents were asked to compare their incomes to 2008, during the depths of the recession, “the fact that over two-thirds of respondents reported being the same or worse off financially highlights the uneven nature of the recovery,” the Fed report said.
That data comes from the Fed’s Survey of Household Economics and Decision Making. The survey was conducted for the first time last year as part of the central bank’s effort to monitor America’s recovery from the recession and identify any risks to households’ financial stability. The new report offers a view of how households assess their own situations that is not found in other U.S. data sources.
Despite relatively few Americans feeling their finances are improving, most appear to be faring relatively well. The survey found 23% reported “living comfortably” and 37% said they were “doing OK.” Less than 40% said they were “just getting by” or otherwise struggling.
Some other tidbits from the survey:
* 40% of Americans think the value of their home will increase in the next year.
* Almost 50% of Americans have done little or no planning for retirement
* Only 21% of Americans think they can handle a large, out of pcoket medical expense.
The subtext to this economic angst is that people have no faith in the president or congress to make things better. About an equal number blame Obama as blame the Republicans for the mess, so it's undecided how the economic anxiety issue will play in November.