MADISON, Wis. (9/16/14)--Macro-economic data indicates the economy is on the mend, but a recent survey by the Filene Research Institute found that 36% of the "every day people" respondents still think the economy is in a recession or depression.
Filene noted that the Absolute Strategy Research survey will not tell credit unions what to do, but will help them understand Americans' changing feelings about saving and borrowing.
U.S. households stubbornly remain risk averse, despite the stock market delivering annualized 20% growth. Forty-two percent said they are not prepared to take any risks with their savings--higher than that recorded in June 2009, the survey found.
"Perhaps still stung by the losses in real estate and equity markets, most respondents want to accept little risk in their savings," the report noted. "Despite four years of strong investment returns, credit unions' arrays of risk-free savings in the form of share accounts, certificates, and IRAs align with this risk aversion."
Regarding income inequality, 61% responded that the difference in incomes between rich and poor has increased, and 63% said that the difference in income between rich and poor has become too large.
Of those who carry debt, 54% plan to reduce it in the coming year, and 30% don't plan to access additional credit. Forty-two percent of borrowers still think their level of debt is too high compared with their income level.