Due primarily to the volatile stock market and negative news of a possible double-dip recession, a considerable number of consumers have reduced their spending, a new poll reveals.
According to Bankrate.com's September Financial Security Index, 40 percent of Americans reduced their buying within the past two months, dropping the FSI score to 92.3 from 93.9. The website says any value below 100 suggests limited financial security among consumers compared to the same period last year.
Greg McBride, senior financial analyst for Bankrate.com, said the findings are a bad sign for consumers hoping the country's financial system will soon make a comeback.
"Forty percent of Americans say they have cut back on spending in the past 60 days due to the roller-coaster stock market or concerns about the economy," said McBride. "That is how recessions are born."
Spending was down among all income and age groups, but households earning less than $75,000 per year and consumers between the ages of 50 and 64 were most likely to cut back on buying.
By reducing spending and keeping an eye on their credit reports, consumers can make sure they maintain good credit scores so they can continue borrowing at a low interest rate.