Podcast interview: Are the excess personal savings accumulated during COVID-19 gone?
Boston Fed economist discusses why excess savings matter and why estimates about what’s left vary
Personal savings skyrocketed during the pandemic after lockdowns drastically curbed consumer spending and U.S. households received a massive flow of government money. Economists say these excess savings – which peaked around $2.6 trillion in 2021 – have increased the economy's resilience during the post-pandemic inflationary period. That’s because consumers are spending those savings and keeping business moving.
But are households draining these excess savings? There’s wide disagreement about how much is left. And what happens when this money is gone?
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Boston Fed economist Omar Barbiero and his colleague and co-author Dhiren Patki focus on excess savings in their new paper, “Have U.S. Households Depleted All the Excess Savings They Accumulated During the Pandemic?”
In the latest episode of Six Hundred Atlantic, Barbiero discusses why excess savings matter and why estimates of how much remains vary so widely. He also talks about what surprised him when he studied how quickly savings were being depleted across income groups.
Listen to the episode by clicking the button above, or on the episode page.