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New Report: Consumer Confidence Returns to Pre-Recession Level
Wednesday, August 10, 2016 6:45 AM

Consumers today have roughly the same level of confidence in the economy as they had just prior to the start of the Great Recession, according to the Money Anxiety Index, which measures consumer sentiment regarding economic anxiety and bills itself as "an early-warning system to shifts in the economy."

The August Money Anxiety Index stands at 59.8, the same position it held in November 2007, one month before the official start of the Great Recession.

The current reading is a positive sign and reflects the continuation of a gradual decline in that figure (and a corresponding increase in consumer confidence related to the economy). The index peaked at 100.4 in September 2011. While it took just under four years (47 months) for the index to hit that peak, it has been taken nearly five years (59 months) to reach current levels.

"The one-year time difference between the increase and decrease in the level of money anxiety shows that it takes longer to build confidence than to destroy it," Dr. Dan Geller, author of the Money Anxiety Index said in a statement. "The impact of the lost jobs, productivity, and wealth during and in the aftermath of the Great Recession was much stronger than the impact of the job gains and economic improvement during the recovery period."

Perhaps not coincidentally, credit unions have seen monumental growth in the five years since the Money Anxiety Index began to improve. Beginning in the final quarter of 2011, credit union membership and loan growth went through the roof, fueled by the Bank Transfer Day movement and consumers' long-simmering disgust toward the big banks. Recent figures bear out that credit unionss continue to make positive gains, even as current GDP figures haven't lived up to expectations.

Source:  Credit Union Journal