Poll finds increase in bank customers’ financial health

The share of U.S. banking customers classified as financially healthy increased four percentage points in August, the largest increase in nearly a year, according to a new J.D. Power survey. The firm polled 4,000 retail bank customers and found the number of customers who said the cost of goods increased faster than their income fell for the first time since it began tracking the metric in March 2022. Still, it cautioned that a significant majority of consumers are experiencing financial difficulties.

Thirty-four percent of bank customers were classified as financially healthy in August, up from 30% in July, according to the survey. The percentage of bank customers who said the price of goods is increasing faster than their income decreased one percentage point to 71%.

The survey also indicated that consumers are adjusting their spending to mitigate the stress caused by inflation. Eighty-six percent of consumers said they are taking action to manage inflation in their lives today with steps such as increased budgeting, buying fewer items to stay on budget and increasing savings for future services, according to J.D. Power. The largest changes in consumer spending behaviors were observed in dining options and discretionary spending on items such as clothing.