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One in three Americans reduces spending in face of looming fiscal cliff

320px-Cash_RegistersA recent study by Bankrate.com revealed that one in three Americans has reduced personal spending over the last 30 days as a result of concerns regarding the fiscal cliff.

Americans most inclined to reduce their spending over the past 30 days included people 65 and older and households with an annual income of less than $30,000.

Bankrate.com’s Financial Security Index fell to a low 95.6 in December, an indication that financial security has declined. All five components, including net worth, savings, job security, debt and overall financial situation, declined for the second month in a row.

“The risks of going over the fiscal cliff are beginning to resonate with consumers much the way they have with businesses that have held back in recent months,” Greg McBride, a senior financial analyst at Bankrate.com, said. “The combination of tax hikes and significant spending cuts would push the economy into recession, and one-third of consumers are already beginning to cut back on spending due to the looming uncertainty.”

The survey also found that, in a three-to-one margin – the widest margin since November 2011 – Americans are less confident about their savings versus one year ago. Though Americans have reported increased comfort with the amount of debt they carry for most of 2012, consumers indicated for the second month in a row that they are less comfortable with their debt levels relative to one year ago.

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