CBA and AOL Finance Optimism Index Rises to All-Time High for Second Consecutive Month

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Lainie Rosenthal - AOL
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The Consumer Bankers Association (CBA) and AOL Inc. (AOL) monthly Finance Optimism Index rose to 9.0 in February, climbing from 6.8 in January, marking the second consecutive month with consumer financial optimism at an all-time high.

Again this month, Americans’ increased optimism about their personal financial future is driven primarily by an unwavering feeling that news they've been hearing about personal finances is generally positive.

Specifically, 71 percent of survey respondents remained optimistic about their personal financial futures, while a slight decrease to 22 percent were pessimistic. In addition, 49 percent of respondents felt news about consumers’ personal finances had been positive over the month of February.

“For the second consecutive month, Americans have felt a tailwind rather than an unrelenting headwind,” said Richard Hunt, President and CEO of the Consumer Bankers Association. “Our hope is for families to build on this confidence and work with their bank of choice to plan for their economic futures.”

The Finance Optimism Index tracks optimism through agreement with 4 statements in a survey: 

  • I am optimistic about my personal financial future.
  • I am worried about my current financial situation.
  • The news I’ve been hearing in the past few weeks about Americans’ personal finances has been generally positive.
  • I am worried that the current economic and political situation is going to affect my personal finances.

The Index is calculated as the percentage of respondents who are optimistic minus the percentage of respondents who are pessimistic. Index values above 0 indicate more respondents felt optimistic than pessimistic, and Index values below 0 indicate more respondents felt pessimistic than optimistic. Survey questions are asked to a random national sample of approximately 1,600 U.S. Online Adults Ages 18+ every month in the AOL/Ipsos MediaCT Brand Tracking Survey.

Other indexes that track consumer sentiment focus on economic and business conditions, with less emphasis on how Americans perceive their own personal financial situation. The Finance Optimism Index differs in that it measures the level of financial optimism of individual Americans through their responses to four survey questions and explores factors that influence these attitudes.  

The Index is measured continuously with results calculated and reported monthly at FinanceOptimism.org.

About the Index 
Launched at CBA LIVE 2014, the CBA/AOL Finance Optimism Index measures Americans' level of optimism about their personal finances. The index tracks across four important variables: optimism about personal financial future, worry about current finances, whether news about personal finances has been positive, and worry about how the economy and politics affect personal finances. The index is measured continuously, and results are published on a monthly basis. Visit FinanceOptimism.org for more information.

About CBA
Founded in 1919, the Consumer Bankers Association (CBA) is the trade association for today's leaders in retail banking - banking services geared toward consumers and small businesses. The nation's largest financial institutions, as well as many regional banks, are CBA corporate members, collectively holding well over half of the industry's total assets. CBA’s mission is to preserve and promote the retail banking industry as it strives to fulfill the financial needs of the American consumer and small business.

About AOL
AOL (NYSE: AOL) is a media technology company with a mission to simplify the internet for consumers and creators by unleashing the world's best builders of culture and code. As the 4th largest online property in the U.S., with approximately 200 million monthly consumers of its premium brands, AOL is at the center of disruption of how content is being produced, distributed, consumed and monetized by connecting publishers with advertisers on its global, programmatic content and advertising platforms. AOL's opportunity lies in shaping the future of the digitally connected world for decades to come. Follow us on twitter @AOL_Inc.