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Consumer Reports Index: September

With two months to go before the election, the Consumer Reports Index finds Americans growing more pessimistic about their financial situation.
Syracuse (WSYR-TV) -- With two months to go before the election, the Consumer Reports Index finds Americans growing more pessimistic about their financial situation.

Low-income households have been discouraged ever since the recession hit four years ago, but Consumer Reports’ latest figures show even those earning $100,000 or more are turning negative.

The Consumer Reports Index tracks Consumer Sentiment and found it continued to drop in the last month, and is now well below 50, meaning more people think their financial prospects are getting worse rather than better.

Each month the Consumer Reports Index asks a cross section of Americans about specific financial troubles they’ve faced in the past 30 days and those are on the rise, even among the more affluent. The Consumer Reports Index calls it the Trouble Tracker and it increased dramatically in the past month.

The biggest problems are lost or reduced health care coverage, inability to pay for medications and medical care and missed payments on major bills.

And the Consumer Reports Index data show more people are losing jobs than are gaining jobs. That needs to turn around for Americans to feel more secure and get the economy moving again.

The Consumer Reports Index says that with affluent Americans feeling more insecure they are curtailing their spending. That has a ripple down effect, slowing the economy overall.

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