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Report: Tampa Bay is second worst among financially distressed metros

Tampa Bay persists as one of the most financially distressed major metros in the country, ranking second only to Orlando in an analysis released today by credit-counseling agency CredAbility.

The usual suspects of high unemployment, a struggling housing market and lower net worth are partly to blame.

But the latest quarterly index singles out one area where Tampa Bay places dead last among the top 30 metros: We're lousy savers.

Tampa's savings rate of 2.02 percent was far shy of the national average of 3.8 percent and even further from what Cred­Ability deems as a healthy savings rate of 7 percent.

If they're not saving, however, at least more consumers appear to be putting their money to good use. An earlier report from credit bureau Equifax found Tampa Bay consumers were paying down their debt at a faster pace than most of the country in the third quarter.

Household budget is one of five categories crunched by Cred­Ability in its index. In other areas, Tampa Bay ranked:

• fourth most distressed in employment (with the unemployment rate at 9.1 percent, up from 8.7 percent in the previous quarter).

• fourth worst in housing (a slight improvement with mortgage delinquencies falling slightly).

• sixth worst in credit scores.

• fourth worst in net worth.

Tampa Bay was one of 17 metros scoring low enough in the index to indicate households are under distress. The bay area dipped slightly from its third-worst overall ranking last time, but other cities — namely Chicago, Las Vegas, Detroit, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh — suffered bigger drops in financial strength.

Households in Washington, D.C., Minneapolis-St. Paul and Boston remain the strongest.

Report: Tampa Bay is second worst among financially distressed metros 11/15/12 [Last modified: Thursday, November 15, 2012 6:00am]
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