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This Is How Much Americans' Savings Have Plummeted With Inflation, Pandemic: Report

Thirty percent of U.S. adults said they haven't "made up for lost ground incurred financially" during the pandemic's first year.


As inflation and pandemic pressures continue to rock the economy, a new study reveals that U.S. residents' savings have taken a staggering dip — down $9,000 year over year on average.

Milwaukee-based financial services company Northwestern Mutual, which surveyed 2,381 Americans between February 8-17, found that the average amount of money in a personal savings account dropped 15% in the past 12 months, from $73,100 in 2021 to $62,086.

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According to the study, 60% of U.S. adults polled said the pandemic has been "highly disruptive" to their finances, while 48% said they've been able to adapt to the new normal. But 30% of U.S. adults said they haven't "made up for lost ground incurred financially" during the pandemic's first year.

The study also noted a well-documented effect of the pandemic: increased saving. But even though 60% of U.S. adults reported bolstering their savings over the past two years, with 69% saying they intended to stick to their new savings pace for the long term, Northwestern Mutual's research revealed the overall decline.

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"This is an adaptation story — people have adjusted to the many ways the world has changed over the last two years and have emerged with some different financial priorities, habits and points of view," Christian Mitchell, executive vice president and chief customer officer at Northwestern Mutual, explains. "But progress doesn't always follow a straight line — there's been a little wobble in people's behaviors compared to last year."

No doubt rampant inflation — jumping to 8.5% in March, the fastest increase in 40 years — has played a significant role in Americans' dwindling savings as well. The prices of items such as food, gas and airfare have soared, raising concerns about the stock market's performance and the possibility of a recession.

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