/U.S. Household Income Surged by Record 21.1% in March – The Wall Street Journal

U.S. Household Income Surged by Record 21.1% in March – The Wall Street Journal


Household income rose at a record pace of 21.1% in March as federal-stimulus checks helped fuel an economic revival that is poised to endure with an easing pandemic.

The 21.1% March surge in income was the largest monthly increase for government records tracing back to 1959, largely reflecting $1,400 stimulus checks included in President Biden’s fiscal relief package signed into law in March. The stimulus payments accounted for $3.948 trillion of the overall seasonally adjusted $4.213 trillion rise in March personal income.

Spending was also up sharply, increasing 4.2%, the Commerce Department said on Friday. That was the steepest month-over-month increase since last summer.

Consumers shelled out more money on goods, particularly big-ticket items such as autos and furniture, compared with services in March. But economists expect that to change in the coming months due to widespread vaccinations and the broader reopening of the economy.

“If we have Covid-19 cases under control, that would ideally make way for us to reopen the services sector of the economy,” said Pooja Sriram, U.S. economist at Barclays. “That, in fact, is a crucial aspect of ensuring that this recovery continues.”

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