Posturing for Progress

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The Latest ANALYTICS Or ig i nat ion Happy Feelings Analysts surprised by the level of increase in consumer sentiment. s e r v ic i ng C Americans Still Finding Credit Report Errors A recent survey shows that nearly onequarter are finding inaccuracies on their reports. corrected to their satisfaction; an additional 14 percent encountered multiple problems but were able to get at least one corrected. The remaining 18 percent were never able to get their problems corrected, FindLaw reported. The report comes on the heels of another recent survey, which found that 22 percent of Americans have never checked their credit report to verify accuracy, despite the fact that credit reporting agencies are required to provide free copies annually upon request. "It's important to check your credit report periodically to ensure the information it contains about you is accurate and up to date," said Stephanie Rahlfs, attorney and editor with "The credit reporting agencies all have detailed procedures for correcting errors. And our survey found that people are generally having success in getting the agencies to correct those errors." The M Report | 53 se c on da r y m a r k e t N early one-quarter of Americans say they have encountered problems with their credit report, according to a survey from, a legal information website. Twenty-three percent of Americans surveyed said they had a problem with their credit report at one point or another, with inaccurate or outdated personal/credit information being the most common complaint. Other errors include incorrect credit scores and identity theft/mix-ups. Many consumers reported being denied credit because of these issues, according to FindLaw. While the frequency of these mistakes may cause concern, the vast majority of people who had problems in the past say they were able to correct the issue. According to the survey, 68 percent of people who found a problem said it was later a na ly t ic s onsumers in the latest optimistic outlook for consumThomson Reuters/ ers to permanently revise their University of Michigan income expectations upward." survey reported their The gain in confidence was most improved financial situation largest among upper-income in more than five years, according households (those with incomes to Surveys of Consumers. above $80,000), although all The group's Consumer income groups posted increases. Sentiment Index rose to 84.5 in One-quarter of high-income the final May survey, its highconsumers spontaneously menest level since July 2007 and an tioned increases in their houseimprovement over the preliminary hold wealth, including increases reading of 83.7 reported midin the value of their homes and month. April's index stock holdings as well reading was 76.4; May as reductions in their 2012's reading was 79.3. "The surge debts. More consumers Assessments in consumer homeowners ofamong reported in May that the confidence current value of their their finances had improved rather than is exactly homes were the most worsened—the first the type of favorable since 2007, time that's happened in economic Surveys of Consumers five years, according to reported. Though jump-start the expected annual Surveys of Consumers. In addition, the overall the Federal increase in home values did not change among mix of economic news Reserve all homeowners, uppercited by consumers was intended to income households the most positive it's been in the last decade, result from posted the highest anleading households to its aggressive nual expected increase since 2007. adopt the most impolicies." On the other hand, proved outlook for the the recent run-up in national economy since 2007. —Richard Curtin, home prices may have encouraged homeownThe most common Surveys of ers to wait for adConsumers news item consumditional gains before ers mentioned hearselling—sour news for ing about was rising an already strained market. employment, which was cited by Both index components one-third of respondents. increased in May. The survey's "The surge in consumer Expectations Index rose to 75.8 confidence is exactly the type of in the latest survey, up from economic jump-start the Federal 67.8 in April and 74.3 in May Reserve intended to result from 2012. The Current Economic its aggressive policies," said Conditions Index was 98, up Richard Curtin, chief econoslightly from April (89.9) and mist for Surveys of Consumers. May 2012 (87.2), reaching its high"To be sure, consumers still est level since August 2007. expressed concerns with their The survey came only days affinancial prospects, especially ter the Conference Board's latest about income gains over the index, which showed consumer longer term. It will take actual confidence climbing to a fiveand repeated income increases year high in May. rather than simply a renewed

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