by Jason Clary

In a still-troubled economy, Tampa has emerged as the least financially stable, according to the CredAbility Consumer Distress Index.

This index measures quarterly shifts in the financial condition of the average household. Looking at the numbers, Tampa is well below the United States averages for housing and employment. In addition, Tampa ranks below the national average of household budget, net worth, credit and overall consumer stability.

“Unemployment is high and underemployment is also high,” Scott Scredon, Director of Public Relations at CredAbility said. “13.2 percent of houses are delinquent on their mortgages, which is down a little from the previous quarter.”

Numbers are assigned to each of these areas – anything below 60 is considered a crisis and higher numbers dictate a more stable situation.

Tampa’s best scoring category is credit, but with a score of 74.6, it is still considered to be in a state of risk. This score is also nearly 13 points below the national average of 87.

Scredon added that “The average household in Tampa spends 42 percent of its income on housing — a (financially) healthy household spends about 25 percent.”

In the third quarter of 2007, Tampa’s job market was its strength, sitting with a score over 90. Since then, that score has dropped over 40 points from a “secure” market to a “crisis” market.

Besides household budget, every single category for Tampa households has dropped since 2007.

With an overall score of 57.9 — 12 points below the national average — Tampa is in dire need of stability in all facets of the economy.


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