Consumer financial anxiety should decrease during the next quarter, according to The Money Anxiety Index, which uses economic indicators to calculate consumers’ level of anxiety and stress.
“With the harsh weather conditions of the first quarter behind us, and significant increases of 288,000 jobs in April and 217,000 in May, the stage is set for a strong GDP showing in the second quarter of this year,” says the report.
The anxiety level decreased slightly this month. The index was down 0.1 points to 73.9, indicating a slight improvement in the level of financial anxiety among consumers. The improvement in the index is attributed in part to the positive employment report for May, the report says.
The June decrease in the level of consumer financial anxiety is in contrast to an increase of 1.3 index points during the first quarter of this year, an increase the report calls substantial. During the first quarter, the Money Anxiety Index increased from 77.7 in January to 79.0 in March.
The increase in consumer financial anxiety in the first quarter is reflected in a negative 1 percent in real GDP, the index reports. The index has been calculated since 1959. It hit a high of 135.3 during the recession of 1980s and a low of 38.7 in the mid-1960s. The 50-year average is 70.7.