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Thank Joe Biden for this.

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Thank Joe Biden for this.

By JOHN ELLIS

Americans outside the wealthiest 20% of the country have run out of extra savings and now have less cash on hand than they did when the pandemic began, according to the latest Federal Reserve study of household finances. For the bottom 80% of households by income, bank deposits and other liquid assets were lower in June this year than they were in March 2020, after adjustment for inflation. All income groups have seen their balances decline in real terms from a peak in 2021, according to the Fed survey. But among the wealthiest one-fifth of households, cash savings are still about 8% above their level when Covid hit. By contrast, the poorest two-fifths of Americans have seen an 8% drop in that period. And the next 40% — a group that roughly corresponds with the US middle class — saw their cash savings drop below pre-pandemic levels in the last quarter. The figures point to dwindling firepower available for US consumers, whose resilience has kept the economy growing at a rapid clip this year and staved off the recession that many expected. Some analysts warn a downturn is still in the cards as households run low on spare cash. (Source: bloomberg.com)


2. Consumers in the market for loans to buy homes and cars are discovering that, because of the Federal Reserve’s rate increases, their money gets them a lot less than it would have a few years ago. Meanwhile, those with credit cards and other loans that carry rates pegged to broader benchmarks are finding they have gotten much more expensive. Fed officials signaled last week that they plan to keep interest rates high for quite a while. For families who don’t need to borrow, higher rates might not affect daily life too much. But for those who do, the Fed’s aggressive rate increases are really beginning to sting. “The bite is starting now,” said Liz Ann Sonders, chief investment strategist at Charles Schwab. (Source: wsj.com)

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