$avings Hits 50-year High!

Posted on: Friday, June 12th, 2009
Posted in: Spendology, Blog | Leave a comment

I may be topping off a glass that’s not even half-full.  But buried in this dreary personal wealth story are some—okay, a few—signs that Americans are learning fast during this disastrous downturn.  Can compulsive spenders change their ways?  Maybe they already are.  Check out the good news numbers, then the bad news numbers. 

The Good News! 

  • Amount in savings:  $620.2 billion, the most since 1959
  • Personal savings rate:  5.7%, the highest since 1995

The Bad News  :  ( 

  • Personal wealth losses:  $1.3 trillion, the lowest since 2004
  • U.S. stock market holdings:  Cut by more than half, peak to trough
  • Collective home equity:  41.4%, the lowest since 1945
  • Home value losses:  Down 32%, from peak in 2006

Now here’s the conundrum:  If we DON’T spend, the economy may not turn around, and these losses may linger or get worse.  If we DO spend, we may stop being thrifty and start ourselves back on a cycle toward another crash. 

Guess that’s why sage souls know to do everything in moderation.  (Including moderation.) 

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