The LegalShield Consumer Stress Legal Index
Households and small businesses across the U.S. are each fighting individual battles when it comes to their financial and economic well-being. The LegalShield Consumer Stress Legal Index (formerly known as the Economic Stress Index) allows us to take a closer look and anticipate the future through unique leading indicators.
Data and insights featured in
As part of our mission to ensure every person has equal access to justice, we mine our data for insights policymakers can use to make a real, positive impact in their decision making. Released monthly, the LegalShield Consumer Stress Legal Index is comprised of three sub-indices which reflect the demand for various legal services. LegalShield’s dataset includes more than 35 million consumer requests for legal assistance over 20 years, averaging approximately 150,000 calls received monthly. The CSLI uncovers the daily challenges people are facing and provides actionable intelligence to help policymakers and industry leaders bridge those gaps.Get the latest report
Leading indicators of the U.S. economy
Components of the LegalShield Consumer Stress Legal Index
Consumer Stress Legal Index
Consumer spending accounts for more than two-thirds of U.S. economic activity. The flagship Consumer Stress Legal Index (CSLI) is a leading indicator of the Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index by one to three months. The CSLI also provides a useful “hard” data check on the Consumer Confidence Index and similar measures of consumer confidence that are based on “soft” survey data, as these measures are not always consistent with underlying economic conditions.
Bankruptcy data provides an important insight into the overall financial health of consumers and businesses. As witnessed during the Great Recession of 2008-2009, an uptick in bankruptcies can foreshadow significant turmoil within the economy. The Bankruptcy Index tends to lead the trajectory of total bankruptcies by two quarters, providing a significant early warning signal of an economic downturn.
A rise in foreclosures often signals a worsening of household finances, as households typically delay payments on other debt obligations in order to pay their mortgages on time. The Foreclosure Index closely tracks foreclosures as reported each quarter by the Mortgage Bankers Association.
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