In the October 17 post (“Danger Signs In The Stock Market, Financial System And Economy“) I mentioned in point #6 “…numerous signs of broad-based financial strain among households.”
A November 10 Gallup poll titled “Americans’ Ability to Afford Food Nears Three-Year Low” illustrates one of these strains.
Here are what I found as the most notable excerpts from the poll results:
The percentage of Americans reporting that they had enough money to buy the food they or their families needed continued to decline in October, nearing the record low seen in November 2008. The percentage who did not lack money for food in 2011 fell to 79.8% from 80.1% in September, continuing a decline that began in April.
This measure — which asks if one had enough money to buy food in the past 12 months — has decreased to its lowest level of the calendar year each October since 2009. The reason for this pattern is unclear and does not appear to be related to world food prices.
Americans’ access to basic needs is now at the lowest level recorded since Gallup and Healthways began tracking it in January 2008. The Basic Access Index — which comprises 13 measures, including Americans’ ability to afford food, housing, and healthcare — declined to a record-low score of 81.2 in October. This means Americans’ access to basic needs, though still high in an absolute sense, is now worse than it was throughout the economic crisis and recession, including the prior record lows recorded in February and March 2009.
The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation
SPX at 1263.85 as this post is written