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Statistics reveal truth about economy

The general public often gets conflicting information about the state of the economy. Some news reports say that people are doing well, while others say the collective public is barely scraping by. Though it might seem impossible to get a straight answer on the economy, there are certain trends that may be indicative of how the country is faring in these trying times. The following are some financial statistics that may reveal how healthy or unhealthy the economy is.

*Six in 10 homeowners wish they understood the terms and details of their mortgage better. (Freddie Mac/Roper poll of 2,031 U.S. homeowners, conducted 2005.)

*43 percent of American households spend more than they earn each year. (Homeownership Preservation Foundation data of 60,000 homeowners.)

*52 percent of employees live paycheck to paycheck. (MetLife Study of Employee Benefit Trends: Findings from the 2003 National Survey of Employers and Employees, November 2003.)

*46 percent of American households have less than $5,000 in liquid assets, including IRAs. Most cannot support daily living for three months with these assets. (Asena Caner and Edward N. Wolff, "Asset Poverty in the United States: Its Persistence in an Expansionary Economy," Levy Economics Institute of Bard College, 2004.)

*More than 6 in 10 homeowners delinquent in their mortgage payments are not aware of services that mortgage lenders can offer to individuals having trouble with their mortgage. (Freddie Mac/Roper poll of 2,031 U.S. homeowners, conducted 2005.)

*One foreclosure can result in as much as an additional $220,000 in reduced property value and home equity for nearby homes. (William C. Apgar and Mark Duda, "Collateral Damage: The Municipal Impact of Today's Mortgage Foreclosure Boom," May 11, 2005, p. 4.)

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