Pandemic-Era Excess Savings
Pandemic-Era Excess Savings updates estimates of the remaining stock of pandemic-era aggregate excess savings in the U.S. economy, defined as the difference between actual savings and the pre-pandemic trend.
Pandemic-related fiscal support combined with a drop in household spending contributed to a sizable increase in household savings in the overall U.S. economy. Aggregate personal savings rose rapidly, well above its pre-pandemic trend.
As U.S. economic activity began to recover, households utilized their excess savings to support spending. By late 2021, household savings dipped below the pre-pandemic trend, signaling an overall drawdown of pandemic-related excess savings.
The methodology for developing these estimates is outlined in Abdelrahman and Oliveira (2023a, b, c) and detailed in the downloadable data file below. Summary statistics on this page will be updated monthly following the release of the Personal Income and Outlays report by the Bureau of Economic Analysis.
Actual savings are the seasonally adjusted annual personal saving levels from the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), divided by 12 to measure actual monthly saving levels from published annualized data. The pre-pandemic linear trend is based on the de-annualized personal saving measure from March 2016 to February 2020.
Chart 1 compares actual personal savings and the pre-pandemic savings trend. The blue area represents the accumulation of excess savings in the U.S. economy. The red area represents the cumulative drawdown of those excess savings.
Chart 2 plots the monthly accumulation of excess savings since the onset of the 2020 pandemic recession. The most recent data point represents an estimate of the remaining stock of excess savings in the aggregate U.S. economy.
Chart 1: Aggregate personal savings compared with the pre-pandemic trend
Chart 2: Cumulative aggregate pandemic-era excess savings
Abdelrahman, Hamza, and Luiz E. Oliveira. 2023a. “Data Revisions and Pandemic-Era Excess Savings.” SF Fed Blog, November 8.
Abdelrahman, Hamza, and Luiz E. Oliveira. 2023b. “Excess No More? Dwindling Pandemic Savings.” SF Fed Blog, August 16.
Abdelrahman, Hamza, and Luiz E. Oliveira. 2023c. “The Rise and Fall of Pandemic Excess Savings.” FRBSF Economic Letter 2023-11, (May 8).
Pandemic-Era Excess Savings data (Excel document, 17 kb)