New research finds no evidence of recovery in US household finances

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The FINANCIAL — While US GDP is rising, households across the country face continued severe financial fragility, according to new joint research from faculty members at the Saïd Business School, University of Oxford, Harvard Kennedy School and George Washington University.

The research uses new data collected from 20,000 adults in the United States between June and October 2020. The authors analyse changes over time in four measures of financial fragility – spending in excess of income; difficulty paying bills; having little or no short-term savings and postponing a major purchase in the last month.

They also examine the impact of  the expiration of CARES Act’s Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (PUC) provision, which supplemented unemployment insurance by $600 per week,on household finances, with inability to pay bills, spending more than income, and a lack short term savings increasing by as much as 100%.

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