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Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Incomes got a sizable boost in July. Nominal personal income grew 1.1% to $20.67 trillion during the month, accelerating from June's 0.2% monthly rise, according to Friday’s government figures.

Why it matters: July’s hiring spree and expanded child tax credits drove that growth.

  • This latest form of aid, which began mid-month and runs through the end of the year, comes at a key moment. 
  • Extra unemployment benefits are ending, and because consumers pulled back on spending last month due to new COVID concerns, the stashed-away sums will translate into future economic growth. 

Wages and salaries, which exclude government aid payments and other supplements, grew 0.9% month over month to a new high of $10.25 trillion amid job gains.

By the numbers: Disposable household incomes, or personal incomes less taxes, rose for the first time since March, by 0.7% to $18.05 trillion.

  • Consumer spending growth slowed to 0.3% in July, helping savings grow.
  • Because incomes outpaced spending, personal saving climbed to $1.72 trillion, which translates to a personal saving rate of 9.6% in July, up from 8.8% in June.

What they’re saying: “While the expiry of UI benefits and the absence of another round of checks to families will weigh on income growth in 2022, the ongoing child tax credit and rebounding employment and wages should support household outlays next year,” Oxford Economics said in a research note Friday.

What to watch: “[W]e believe cooler consumer spending growth is more likely than consumers retrenching and the economy going into reverse,” Oxford notes.

Go deeper: U.S. consumer sentiment nosedives as Delta variant spikes

Go deeper

19 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Rich tax may flunk

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The "billionaire tax" and other revenues Democrats want to pay for President Biden's $2 trillion social safety net expansion are about to face a math test from a notoriously hard grader: the Joint Committee on Taxation.

Why it matters: The budget reconciliation instructions require the Senate Finance Committee to offset all the spending it authorizes with the same amount of revenue. Hot air from House and Senate leaders about pay-fors will be replaced by the joint committee's cold arithmetic — and the result is in doubt.

Oct 23, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Senate Democrats target billionaires

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

After failing to get a deal on other planned tax increases, key Senate Democrats are pivoting to a billionaires' income tax to pay for President Biden's social spending.

The big picture: No advanced economy has attempted anything similar on such a scale.

Birx: Trump White House could have reduced COVID deaths by 30 to 40%

Deborah Birx, then-coronavirus response coordinator, speaks during a news conference in the White House last November. Photo: Chris Kleponis/CNP/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Deborah Birx, the White House COVID-19 response coordinator under former President Trump, told a House subcommittee this month that the Trump administration could have prevented tens of thousands of deaths during the early stages of the pandemic.

Driving the news: "I believe if we had fully implemented the mask mandates, the reduction in indoor dining ... and we had increased testing, that we probably could have decreased fatalities into the 30% less to 40% less range," Birx said in closed-door testimony to the Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, according to excerpts provided by the panel.