US, Emerging From Pandemic, Keeps Penchant for Saving

Number of the Day: The most relevant or interesting figure in personal finance

14.9%

That's how much disposable income Americans had saved in April, less than half the share they hung on to early on in the pandemic, but still almost double what was typical before COVID-19.

While the personal savings rate has dropped dramatically from the 33.7% seen in April of last year—when the outbreak of the virus left millions unemployed and uncertain about their financial future (not to mention isolated at home unable to spend)—the rate has remained well above pre-pandemic levels, which often hovered at 7% or 8%. This latest reading, released Friday, shows the balance many people seem to be striking as they emerge from the depths of the pandemic buoyed by increasing vaccination rates, lower case counts, and a palpable sense that the worst is behind us.

Indeed, while there’s reason to be optimistic, with many measures of the economy showing a vast improvement in recent months, the country is forever altered, including when it comes to wanting to be prepared financially. Thirty-two percent of adults surveyed by Harris Poll for Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance in March said their financial discipline had improved during the pandemic, and almost all of those said they expected their new habits to stick.