America’s savings rate and the future

by Ryan Streeter on April 3, 2013. Follow Ryan on Twitter.

The falling saving rate is a worrying trend. A low stock of savings increases vulnerability to economic shocks.

So says the Economist. Lest you think the downward trend in savings is a recent phenomenon, look at this trend over the past generation:

Screen Shot 2013-04-02 at 10.40.23 PM

Our savings rate is very much a statement about how Americans feel about the future – or, more specifically, how we value it. A low savings rate signals a declining sense that investing, hoping, and preparing are all less valuable than they used to be.

  • Libertarian Jerry

    How can the average middle class person save when they work 7 out of 12 months of the year just to pay all of their taxes directly or indirectly? Even with both spouses working full time,most families are just getting by. How can they save when banks are paying 3% or less on most forms of saving yet the real inflation rate is closer to 10%? The problem is that our nation,its money and spending habits are all based on debt. All the classic old habits of thrift,frugality and saving are discouraged by our society and its government and especially that government’s public school systems. In a society where credit is considered an asset and not a liability and the buy now pay letter syndrome of easy credit with high interest payments is the standard what would one expect but a nation of uneducated debt serfs.