household financial health at its highest at the end of 2021

Washington (awp/afp) – The financial health of American families was, in the fall of 2021, at its highest for almost ten years, before the Omicron variant weighed on the economy and inflation slashed the purchasing power, according to a Fed study published on Monday.

The general standard of living was, at this time, “at the highest” since the study to be created in 2013, underlines the American central bank in a press release.

Thus, 73% of adults described their financial situation as correct, or even comfortable.

This is explained, on the one hand, by the reopening of most schools at the start of the school year in September 2021, which has enabled parents to return to work, and, on the other hand, by the financial aid paid to families. by the federal government.

Parents of school-aged children, “who had been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic in 2020, showed notable improvements in their financial well-being in 2021,” the Fed details.

More households in 2021 than in the two previous surveys were able to pay their monthly bills in full. And the proportion of adults with enough money set aside to cover the unexpected, and to be able to afford $400 in cash, has peaked since the survey began in 2013.

The improvement seen in 2021 was across all population groups, with Hispanic people seeing the biggest increase.

However, the survey does not mention inflation, which had already climbed to 6.2% over one year in October and has since accelerated, reaching 8.5% in March, its highest level in 40 years. before moderating a little in April, to 8.3%.

This improvement in financial conditions contrasts with Americans’ perception of their country’s economy: only 24% of adults rated it “good” or “excellent” in 2021, 2 percentage points lower than in 2020 and half less than in 2019.

In addition, teleworking has become a habit, 22% of employees worked full time from home, down from 29% at the end of 2020, but up sharply from 7% at the end of 2019.

This concerns to a greater extent the most qualified employees. And almost half of people who telecommute at least part of the week say they would look for another job if their employer forced them to return to the office full-time.


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