Many Americans' Finances Strengthened in Pandemic

New York, NY, January 10, 2022--The Covid-19 pandemic threatened to ruin Americans’ finances, reports the Wall Street Journal. For many, the opposite happened.

“Though initial shutdowns caused unemployment to surge to levels not seen since the Great Depression, trillions of dollars in government stimulus and the economy’s swift, if turbulent, recovery helped many families reach a new level of financial security.

“The first two rounds of stimulus payments lifted 11.7 million people out of poverty, according to the Census Bureau. Americans built up $2.7 trillion in extra savings. Some expect that, combined with rising wages, to provide them with lasting stability despite the return to more normal spending patterns and rising inflation.

“Not everyone benefited equally, and some say the future already looks more tenuous. The federal government’s stimulus checks, expanded unemployment insurance and monthly child tax credit have ended, and the pause on payments and interest on student loans will end soon. The Omicron variant of the coronavirus is driving up infections and disrupting businesses.

“But Americans of all income levels socked away more money during the pandemic, according to Moody’s Analytics estimates based in part on government data.

“People saved more during the pandemic, at all​l evels of income, although the highest bracket​added the most.

“The personal saving rate-a measure of how much money people have left over after spending and taxes-hit a record 33.8% in April 2020, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The rate averaged just under 8% for the two years before the pandemic began.”