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Do We Really Need More Stimulus to Print More Millionaires and Billionaires, Enrich Fraudsters, Balloon the Trade Deficit? Consumer Data Says, ‘No We Don’t’

People who need support, should get support. As for the rest? On my soapbox, wildly wagging consumer income and spending data.

By Wolf Richter | 30 October 2020

WOLF STREET — Weirdest economy ever, powered by stimulus money, and the now expired extra unemployment money, and money from rents-and-mortgage-payments-not-made, and money from cash-out mortgage refis of at record low interest rates. And folks “in aggregate” – all mixed together, with all inequalities papered over – are spending record amounts on goods, a lot of which are imported, but they’re not spending on services – not because they don’t have the money but because they have Pandemic-reasons for not buying those services.

Personal income from all sources in September ticked up a tad from August, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $19.8 trillion, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis today, having falling 6.0% from its wondrous stimulus-and-unemployment-money spike, but up 6.2% from a year ago:

Free money and Earned money.

Earned money. Personal income from wages and salaries alone – what people earn from their jobs or self-employment activities – rose 0.8% in September from August and  edged past the year-ago level, to $9.38 trillion (annual rate), but was still down 2.9% from February […]

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