Federal charts show impacts of the pandemic on the economy

Nov 5, 2020
Written by wpengine

Personal income and savings rates clearly illustrate how consumers have adjusted to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a new blog, Kriss Sjoblom, Research Director and Senior Economist with the Washington Research Council shares two charts that illustrate how consumers have handled their finances during the pandemic. The data is from the federal Bureau of Economic Analysis.

In a good sign for retailers, the graph shows how consumer spending began a steady recovery in April.

One graph shows the impact of federal aid including stimulus checks and the added $600 per week federal unemployment bonus that has since expired. Another shows the uncharacteristically high 33.6% April savings rate that spiked as fear and anxiety about the pandemic took hold and how the rate eased back to 14.3% in September, a rate still significantly above normal for the U.S.

Both graphs show seasonally-adjusted annual rates.

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