Will Americans’ pandemic savings stash keep the economy rolling?

An obvious concern is high inflation

1/16/2022 10:00:00 PM

An obvious concern is high inflation

The “stimmy” boost may linger even as policymakers wind down support

to pass President Joe Biden’s “Build Back Better” programme will lead to further retrenchment.Will the extra savings blunt the impact of all this policy tightening? There are reasons to be sceptical. Were the $2.5trn shared equally across the country, it would amount to about $7,500 for every American—more than the combined total of the three rounds of stimulus cheques. In practice the distribution is far from equal. In the decade before covid-19 the wealthiest 1% of Americans had, in aggregate, about twice as much in cash and chequable bank deposits as the bottom 50%. The pandemic has skewed this further: the top 1% now has four times as much as the bottom half. Although the government directed its assistance towards poorer Americans, the ultra-rich reaped far greater rewards, thanks in large part to soaring asset prices.

Read more: The Economist »

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