Personal Savings Index (PSI) Indicators Lower This Month Than Last September

Contact: Katie Bryan, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., 202-213-3349

Washington, DC – Data from the January 2016 Personal Savings Index (PSI) survey by America Saves reveals that savings interest, effort, and effectiveness indicators were considerably lower than these indicators in September 2015.  As the following table shows, indicators in this triennial survey were down by six to eight percentage points in the three-month period.

Table 1:  PSI Percentages in Last Eight Trimesters

  Interest Effort Effectiveness
Jan-16 67% 57% 56%
Sep-15 75% 65% 62%
May-15 63% 58% 55%
Jan-15 70% 61% 59%
Sep-14 71% 62% 60%
May-14 71% 63% 58%
Jan-14 65% 58% 56%
Sep-13 71% 62% 58%

“Data from the eight trimester surveys suggest that savings interest, effort, and effectiveness tend to be lower in January than in May or September,” noted Brobeck.  “Perhaps holiday spending the previous month has discouraged some people from saving and also made it more difficult to do so,” he added.

The surveys are undertaken for America Saves by ORC International, which surveys a representational sample of 1,000 adult Americans by cell phone and landline.  The latest survey was undertaken January 7-10, 2016.  Respondents were asked to respond to the three questions about interest, effort, and effectiveness on a 10-point scale ranging from “no interest” to “great interest,” and these responses were converted into percentages.  The survey’s margin of error is plus or minus three percentage points.

America Saves, a campaign managed by the nonprofit Consumer Federation of America, seeks to motivate, encourage, and support low- to moderate-income households to save money, reduce debt, and build wealth. The research-based campaign uses the principles of behavioral economics and social marketing to change behavior. Nonprofit, government, and corporate groups participate in America Saves nationally and through local, regional, and statewide campaigns around the country. America Saves encourages individuals and families to take the America Saves pledge and organizations to promote savings year-round and during America Saves Week. Learn more at and