While the number of people saving the same amount for retirement than the year before held steady at 55%, the number of people saving less fell to 18% from 29% in 2011.
Overall, the Bankrate.com August Financial Security Index remained in negative territory, with a reading of 99.0, up from 97.9 in July. Readings less than 100 indicate that Americans have lower financial security than the year before, and the index has been below 100 in 19 of the 21 months since its inception in December 2010.
“The stock market hitting a three-month high, a better-than-expected July jobs report and verbal assurance from the president of the European Central Bank that they’ll do whatever it takes to preserve the Euroall resonated with American consumers in the 10 days preceding the polling in early August,” said Greg McBride, senior financial analyst with Bankrate.com. “All five components of the Financial Security Index—job security, savings, debt, net worth and overall financial situation —rose this month, but that was not enough to tip the index back into positive territory.”
Princeton Survey Research Associates conducted the survey in August among 1,005 adults via landlines and cellphones.