Updated Jul 5, 2018

Why it matters: 23% of Americans have no emergency savings

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Nearly 20% of Americans surveyed say they have zero savings in case of emergency, a recent survey by bankrate.com reports.

Why it matters: With the jobs outnumbering the jobless, a lowering unemployment rate and wages trickling upward, Americans theoretically should have more money to put away for a rainy day fund. If an economic downturn were to occur, the data shows only a small fraction of Americans would be able to comfortably maintain their lifestyle.

By the numbers: 29% of the U.S. say they have enough emergency savings to last them six months or more — an overwhelming majority of respondents, 62%, are "very or somewhat comfortable with their level of emergency savings."

  • Lower-income households are more likely to have no emergency funds, but 27% of lowest-income households have enough savings to last them at least three months.
  • Americans lost $19.4 trillion worth of wealth during the Great Recession, per the Treasury Department.
  • Even though 23% of people with zero savings is a seven-year low, people are saving the same amount as they were in 2010.

The big picture: Putting money away in a checking, savings or money market account in a strengthening economy is not that simple. The bankrate.com survey says only 22% of millennials have six months or more saved in an emergency fund. Many want to save in case of an economic downturn, but there are other priorities, Greg McBride, CFA for bankrate.com, tells Axios.

  • Debt is one of the biggest daily concerns for 68% of millennials, according to a poll by Kickstand with Hometap. Credit card and student debt for millennials is seven times more of a priority than baby boomers.
  • Millennials are also inadequately focused on retirement savings. Many believe Social Security will not be reliable.

Between the lines: Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell raised interest rates in June and made the case in June for why it's in the U.S.'s best interest to raise rates a few more times in 2018.

  • "With unemployment low and expected to decline further, inflation close to our objective, and the risks to the outlook roughly balanced, the case for continued gradual increases in the federal funds rate is strong," Powell said in a two-day policy meeting.
  • But, there is concern the hikes may undercut the wage growth that Americans are barely starting to see.
  • "Higher interest rates are benefitting the people who have savings. People who have debt and no savings will not benefit," McBride said.

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Top Trump ally sounds 2020 election alarm over coronavirus response

Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

There is growing concern among top conservative leaders that the Trump administration isn't addressing the long-term economic impact of the coronavirus, several sources tell Axios. One top adviser said if the recovery is bungled it could cost President Trump the election.

What we're hearing: "The next 4-8 weeks is really going to decide whether Trump gets reelected," Stephen Moore, Trump's former nominee for the Federal Reserve board, told Axios. If the administration mishandles its economic recovery efforts, he said, Trump is "in big trouble."

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 1,600,427 — Total deaths: 95,506 — Total recoveries: 354,006Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 465,329 — Total deaths: 16,513 — Total recoveries: 25,410Map.
  3. Public health latest: U.S. has expelled thousands of migrants under a CDC public health orderDr. Anthony Fauci said social distancing could reduce the U.S. death toll to 60,000.
  4. Business latest: The Fed will lend up to $2.3 trillion for businesses, state and city governments — After another 6.6 million jobless claims, here's how to understand the scale of American job decimation.
  5. 2020 latest: Top conservative leaders are concerned the Trump administration isn't addressing the virus' long-term economic impact.
  6. States latest: FEMA has asked governors to decide if they want testing sites to be under state or federal control.
  7. World latest: Lockdowns have led to a decline in murders in some of the world's most violent countries — Boris Johnson is moved out of the ICU but remains in hospital with coronavirus.
  8. In Congress: Senate in stalemate over additional funding for small business relief program.
  9. 1 SNL thing: "Saturday Night Live" will return this weekend in a remotely produced episode.
  10. What should I do? Hydroxychloroquine questions answeredPets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  11. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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Federal court temporarily blocks coronavirus order against some abortions

Gov. Greg Abbott. Photo: Tom Fox-Pool/Getty Images

A federal judge ruled Thursday that clinics in Texas can immediately offer medication abortions — a pregnancy termination method administered by pill — and can also provide the procedure to patients nearing the state's time limits for abortions.

Driving the news: The decision comes after federal appeals court ruled 2-1 on Tuesday in favor of an executive order by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott that prohibits abortions during the coronavirus outbreak.

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