New Data Suggest a Robust Recovery Is on the Way

Household income increases by a record amount in March, thanks to stimulus checks
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 30, 2021 11:53 AM CDT
March Brought Record Growth in Household Income
In this file photo, a salesperson helps a customer shopping for Bean Boots at the LL Bean flagship retail store in Freeport, Maine.   (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, File)

The US saw the largest monthly increase in household income in March since government records began tracing that metric more than 60 years ago. The record 21.1% surge, following a 7% decline in February, came after President Biden signed a relief package that included $1,400 stimulus checks. Those payments accounted for the vast majority of the March spike in personal income—$3.9 trillion of the total $4.2 trillion, reports the Wall Street Journal. There was also a 1.1% rise in wages and salaries, a reflection of strong hiring in the month, per the AP.

Americans evidently socked away much of the money. The personal savings rate climbed to 27.6% for the second highest rate on record after April 2020, when Americans received an initial round of coronavirus-related aid. The savings rate was 13.9% in February. Consumer spending, however, also rose: It was up 4.2% in March for the largest month-over-month increase since a 6.5% increase was in June, per the AP. "The strong gains offer yet more evidence that the economy is poised for a rapid recovery following last year's pandemic-triggered recession," writes the AP's Martin Crutsinger. (More household income stories.)

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