The Consumer Reports Index released in early September showed decreases in consumer sentiment and an increase in personal financial troubles in the past 30 days.
Sentiment dropped to 47.4, from 49.5 a month earlier. The major driver was a drop in sentiment among affluent American households (earning more than $100,000). The index dropped by 7.7 points, but still remained in positive territory to 52.2. CR said the Affluents sentiment level has not been as close to negative territory since October 2010.
CR's Trouble Tracker showed consumers' financial difficulties were up to 47.8, from 39.8 in the previous month, and breaking an improvement trend that lasted several months.
Lower-income households, those making less than $50,000, had more overall financial difficulties but the largest increase during the month was seen in affluent households. The Affluents Trouble Tracker rose from 17.8 in July 2012 to 25.8. The lower-income households measure was little changed at 63.6, from 64.7 the month before.
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