Financial and Monetary Systems

Everyday prices are surging. What effect does that have on personal savings in the US?

A clear glass jar containing coins is tipped over.

As prices increase, many Americans are saving less of their disposable incomes. Image: Unsplash/Alicia Razuri

Felix Richter
Data Journalist, Statista
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United States

  • As prices for everyday purchases continue to surge, many American families are struggling to make ends meet.
  • Americans saved just 4.4% of their disposable income in April – lower than at any point since the Great Recession, and down from 12.6% a year earlier.
  • But the latest decline comes after an unusual surge in savings during the pandemic, as lockdowns limited spending opportunities.

As prices for everyday purchases continue to surge in the United States, many families struggle to make ends meet. And even among those who manage to keep their standard of living and pay all their bills, something’s got to give.

According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, Americans are now saving less than at any point since the Great Recession, indicating that money is indeed getting tight in many households that are feeling the sting of sky-high prices for food, fuel and housing.

In April, Americans saved just 4.4 percent of disposable personal income, which is down from 12.6 percent in April 2021 and the lowest rate since September 2008, when the country was in the middle of the Great Recession.

As the following chart shows, the latest decline in the personal saving rate comes after an unusual surge in savings amid the Covid-19 pandemic, when several rounds of stimulus checks bolstered Americans’ earnings at a time when lockdowns or other restrictions limited spending opportunities.

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Personal saving as a percentage of disposable personal income in the United States.
The COVID-19 pandemic saw a large increase in the amount Americans saved. Image: U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis
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Financial and Monetary SystemsEconomic Growth
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