The Consumer Debt Stress Index (DSI) fell about two points in October, to 130.1 from 132.8 in September. The DSI has fallen for three straight months now, the first three-month drop in more than a year. It is now at the lowest point since March 2009.
“The first hints of favorable economic news have undoubtedly relieved consumers’ concerns about their debts to some extent,” said Lucia Dunn, professor of economics at Ohio State University, and one of the leaders of the study.
“However, the DSI is still high by historic standards, and that could cause consumers to tighten their purse strings in coming months.”
Dunn said the November DSI will be crucial in predicting how much consumers are willing to spend in the important holiday shopping season.
The DSI is conducted by Ohio State’s Center for Human Resource Research and is based on telephone interviews of randomly selected Americans. Each month’s index score is based on the past three months of interviews, with the average sample size being 658.
The DSI has been conducted monthly since January 2006, where its base value was set at 100.
The index fell into the 90s through most of 2006 and the first half of 2007 as the economy boomed, indicating that consumers felt comfortable with their debt levels. After the collapse of the subprime mortgage market, the index began a sharp turnaround, reaching a peak of 155.3 in July – the highest it has been since the inception of the current index. Since then, the index has started dropping.
Positive signs in the economy seem to be encouraging women more than men. Although women tend to have higher levels of debt stress than men, their stress levels have been dropping faster than those of men, Dunn said.
In October, women’s stress index was at 136, down from 143.6 the previous month. Debt stress levels for men, on the other hand, were roughly the same in both months: 122.9 in October, compared to 120.7 in September.
The negative impact of debt on family life, job performance and health also lessened for many Americans in October, the index revealed:
-- 24.3 percent of respondents in October said debt caused a medium to extreme problem on their family life, down from 30.3 percent in September.
-- 12.2 percent of respondents in October said debt caused a medium to extreme problem in their job performance, down from 16.2 percent in September.
-- 21.9 percent of respondents in October said debt had a negative impact on their health, down from 25.7 percent in September.
“While the drop in debt stress has been encouraging the past three months, we don’t know yet if the good news will be enough to save the holiday shopping season,” Dunn said. “We should know more when we get the results in November.”
Contact: Lucia Dunn, (614) 292-8071; Dunn.email@example.com
Jeff Grabmeier | Newswise Science News
Europe’s Demographic Future. Where the Regions Are Heading after a Decade of Crises
10.08.2017 | Berlin-Institut für Bevölkerung und Entwicklung
Scientists reveal source of human heartbeat in 3-D
07.08.2017 | University of Manchester
Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.
As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...
Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.
Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...
For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.
While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...
An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.
The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...
A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...
16.08.2017 | Event News
04.08.2017 | Event News
26.07.2017 | Event News
17.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
17.08.2017 | Earth Sciences
17.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy