LegalShield released its Economic Stress Index Report, including a worsening Consumer Stress Index and data showing the highest level of consumer financial stress in a year. The report pointed to inflation and the rising cost of rent, energy and household essentials for the increased financial strain, indicating that this heightened stress level is expected to increase throughout the remainder of the year.
LegalShield’s Housing Construction Index and Housing Sales Index also worsened. A sluggish supply chain and increased building costs have provided continued challenges for the housing industry, even as pent-up demand sustained it amid rising interest rates. Affordability is a growing concern for many buyers and the report’s data suggests that housing sales will slowly cool over the next year.
“With inflation being high and the cost of living rising, people have become more selective with their spending,” said Matt Layton, SVP of Data, Insights, and Intelligence at LegalShield. “It’s less about the ‘wants’ and making sure the ‘needs’ are met. We can expect people to continue to tighten their pockets as we go through the second half of the year. During this time, if someone is struggling financially, speaking to a lawyer and creating an action plan is a smart step.”