The PPLSI Economic Stress 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 PPLSI 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 make sure every person has equal access to justice, we mine our data every month for insights policymakers can use to make a real, positive impact on the world. Comprised of five sub-indices which reflect the demand for various legal services over the past 15+ years, the PPLSI Economic Stress Index uncovers the daily challenges people are facing. It also provides actionable intelligence to help policymakers and industry leaders bridge those gaps.Get the latest report
Leading indicators of the U.S. economy
5 trends from our latest data
Consumers starting to feel the pinch
The LegalShield Consumer Stress Index remained mostly unchanged since April 2022, however, inflation and high borrowing costs are putting pressure on financial stress. Strong labor market has helped most consumers remain in good financial condition.
Bankruptcy decreased in May to second lowest value
The LegalShield Bankruptcy Index decreased (improved) in May 2022 to the second lowest value in series history, supporting our view that bankruptcies will remain low for the foreseeable future. Total seasonally adjusted bankruptcy filings decreased by 2.3% to 28,338 in May 2022 and were down 19% compared to a year ago.
Foreclosure activity gradually returning to pre-pandemic levels
The LegalShield Foreclosure Index declined in May 2022 from its highest level since the onset of the pandemic. A continued slow and steady normalization in foreclosure starts is expected in the months ahead.
Construction activity to continue healthy but will slow down
The LegalShield Housing Construction Index was mostly unchanged in May 2022 and remains near its lowest level since the pandemic-fueled housing market surge.
Strong demand has sustained the home building industry for the last two years and construction activity should remain healthy in the near term, but high materials prices and rising mortgage rates are increasingly weighing on home builder optimism.
Home sales slips closer to summer 2020 levels
The LegalShield Housing Sales Index fell in May 2022, slipping nearer to its summer 2020 level. Sales activity is expected to remain above pre-pandemic levels in near-term, housing affordability is a growing concern.
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