Savings rate dips to pre-recession low

Consumers ended 2017 by accelerating spending faster than their incomes, squeezing their savings rate to its lowest levels since the eve of the Great Recession.

The U.S. Commerce Department reported Monday that personal savings were an annualized $351.6 billion in December, the smallest since December 2007, the month the recession began. The 2.4% savings rate in December was the smallest since it fell to 2.3% in September 2005.

Disposable personal income was $14.6 trillion, annualized, and was up 0.3% from November after adjusting for seasonal variations. Meanwhile, personal consumption expenditures rose 0.4% to $13.7 trillion.

Some economists have worried that this pattern of consumer spending increasing at a faster rate than income over the past two years indicates a weakness in the economy. While jobs have been increasing, wages have still lagged and many families are still struggling to make ends meet.


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