Savings Rate Worst Since 1933

If you saved money this year, you’re one of the few. According to the Commerce Department, the savings rate fell to -1%, meaning that not only did people spend all the money they earned in 2006, they borrowed some as well. This number was the lowest rate of savings since 1933, which, in case you’ve forgotten, was during the Great Depression.

From USA Today:

The savings rate has been negative for an entire year only four times — in 2005 and 2006 and in 1933 and 1932. But the reasons for the negative savings rates were vastly different during the two periods.

During the Depression, when one-fourth of the labor force was without a job, people dipped into savings to pay for the basic necessities.

Economists have put forward various reasons to explain the current lack of savings, among them: a feeling on the part of some people that they do not need to save because of the run-up in their investments, such as homes and stock portfolios; and an effort by middle-class wage earners to maintain their current lifestyles even though wage gains have been depressed by global competition.

This shit is just unwise, y’all.—MEGHANN MARCO

Consumer spending, incomes up in December; savings rate worst since 1933 [USA Today]

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