Nov 29, 2023 - Economy

Americans' savings are dwindling, new poll shows

Data: Morning Consult; Chart: Axios Visuals
Data: Morning Consult; Chart: Axios Visuals

Evidence is stacking up showing Americans are saving less and drawing down their existing savings cushions.

The latest: The share of adults who say they can cover six months of expenses using their savings is considerably lower than it was last year, according to polling from Morning Consult.

  • And the share that simply doesn't know how long their savings will carry them has grown, to about 21%, from 15.5% in July 2022.

The big picture: The savings drawdown shows how consumption patterns are sticky — people want to maintain their lifestyles, even if it costs more and they have to dip into their savings, says Jesse Wheeler, senior economist at Morning Consult.

  • This spending has been buoying the economy — though it's unclear how long that'll last.

Between the lines: The rise in the cohort that doesn't know how long they can live off their savings is particularly notable, says Wheeler.

  • It shows that "people are feeling pretty uncertain about what lies ahead," — and that may be one reason that sentiment has remained so gloomy while the data shows the economy humming, he says.

Go deeper: Consumer sentiment drops this fall as Americans feel worse about the economy

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