Friday, July 31, 2009
It would be criminal of me not to post this chart. The BEA has "found" that households have been in fact saving roughly 1% more of their disposable income per quarter since 1995, 0.9% per quarter in 2008.
The chart illustrates the bi-decade event that is the BEA's comprehensive revisions to the national income accounts (yes, nerdy me downloaded the saving rate series here in anticipation of the release). It is almost a rule that the saving rate is revised upward, and this time is no different. The saving rate has been revised to show a steady increase from an average of 1.7% in 2007 to 2.7% in 2008, and a surge to 4.6% in the first half of 2009. This looks large compared to the previous 2007-2009Q1 averages of 0.6%, 1.8%, and 4.3%, respectively.
Households have been "delevering" for a longer time period than previously thought - as recent as 2008 Q1, the saving rate that was reported to be essentially zero, 0.2%, is now 1.2%.