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  • Economics    April 21 
Americans still love saving and hate spending

Gallup's latest figures on saving and spending are out — and the results are broadly the same as they've been ever since the 2008 financial crisis. The desire to save is much stronger than the desire to spend:

[Gallup]

Who likes saving the most? People on low incomes, and Southerners:

[Gallup]

This, unsurprisingly, has translated into a huge growth in savings. The level of U.S. savings deposits since 2008 has risen dramatically from around $4 trillion to $7 trillion.

And what are the broader economic effects of Americans' love of saving? Well, every dollar saved is a dollar not spent. While some saving is necessary — to build up capital to invest, or to build up protection for a rainy day — everybody's spending is someone else's income. If lots and lots of people save a high proportion of their incomes, economic activity suffers. That — what John Maynard Keynes called the paradox of thrift — goes some way to explaining the relatively weak economic recovery since 2008.

- - John Aziz
 
 
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