Only 4.7 points separate the December preliminary Money Anxiety Index, at 67.0 from its level on the eve of the Great Recession. Exactly seven years ago, in December of 2007, the Money Anxiety Index stood at 62.3, then climbing up to a high of 97.6 in the aftermath of the Great Recession, and gradually declining to its current level of 67.0.
A major factor in the gradual improvement of the Money Anxiety Index is the continued positive news on employment. The November employment figures show that the economy added 321,000 nonfarm jobs, which is the strongest monthly gain in nearly three years increasing the three-month employment average to a gain of 278,000 per month.
The Money Anxiety Index measures consumers’ level of financial worry and stress. Historically, the Money Anxiety Index fluctuated from a high of 135.3 during the recession of the early 1980s, to a low of 38.7 in the mid 1960s. The money anxiety Index was developed by Dr. Dan Geller, who is an expert in behavioral finance, and the author of the book Money Anxiety. The index is highly predictive. It signaled the arrival of the Great Recession over a year prior to the official declaration of the recession in December of 2007.