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Concern over a slowdown in the job market keeps consumers financially anxious and could lead to a decrease in spending during the upcoming holiday-shopping season. 

The October Money Anxiety Index remains nearly flat at 64.3 dropping only 0.1 index points from September and only 0.2 points from August. The flatting of the Money Anxiety Index in the past three months comes after a major improvement of 2.6 index points in July.

The lack of improvement in the Money Anxiety Index in the past three months points to a growing concern among consumers about the strength of the job market.   The September jobs report was disappointing as only 142,000 non-farm jobs were added.  Additionally, the August jobs report was revised down from 173,000 to 136,000 according to the latest report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

If the Money Anxiety Index will remain somewhat flat in November, we might see a lukewarm holiday shopping season.  Traditionally, consumers spent more during the holiday season when the Money Anxiety Index is in decline, and reduced spending when the index is flat or moving upwards.

 


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