As a result of falling home prices and a deterioration in real wages, consumer spending took a significant downturn last month, a new report reveals.
The Deloitte Consumer Spending Index fell to its lowest level in more than three years in September, dropping from 2.51 in August to 2.39 last month.
The index is determined through four criteria, specifically tax burdens, initial unemployment claims, real wages and real home prices.
"Low mortgage rates are doing little to spur home sales as banks limit lending and foreclosures continue to increase," said Carl Steidtmann, Deliotte's chief economist and author of the index report. "The housing market also remains at risk of further decline, and both the tax rate and unemployment are stagnant."
Among those that are buying, the mortgage application process can be the time in which consumers' credit scores are most vulnerable to being adversely affected, according to Bankrate.com. Consumers should check their scores often to make sure errors haven't been made.