The Consumer Reports index for September shows that while consumers are finding less difficulty paying for their expenses, the economy is still recovering slowly as a result of the high unemployment rate. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the unemployment rate rose from 9.5 percent in July to 9.6 percent in August.
The Past 30-Day Retail Index for September is currently at 9.8, down from 11.4 percent in August, as more Americans spend with caution. Many consumers are still struggling to pay down their existing credit card debt while rebuilding their savings.
On a positive note, however, the number of Americans that suffered negative changes to their credit decreased to 7.2 percent from 8.9 percent in August. New restrictions and limitations put on issuers as a result of the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act have provided consumers with more protection from high interest rates and fees.
Those suffering the most appear to be adults between 18 and 34 who have been struggling to find jobs. College students often graduate with credit card debt on top of their loans which can be difficult to pay off without a steady income.