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When will employers bring workers back to the office?
Mar 26, 2021

When will employers bring workers back to the office?

Some are still giving employees the flexibility to work from home for at least part of the time. Microsoft announced that workers can start returning to its Redmond, Washington, headquarters this Monday if they want to, for example. Plus, the latest data on how U.S. consumers are spending and saving money. And, where in the economy the latest round of direct payments for COVID relief are flowing.

Segments From this episode

Consumer spending, income fall in February. But what lies ahead this spring?

“I think, from my perspective, the most important part was that the savings rate stayed very high,” said Drew Matus, chief market strategist for MetLife Investment Management. “And what that tells us is that when things do begin to open up, people will have the means to spend, and then the open question becomes will they want to spend?” The other question, Matus said, is how many places will be left for people to spend at when things open up more, noting all of the businesses that have shuttered or cut operations during the pandemic. If people are itching to spend right off the bat, prices could go up. Matus says others might take a step back and wait longer before purchasing big-ticket items.

How recipients will spend COVID relief payments depends on their income

Mar 26, 2021
The worst off are likely to use them to fend off economic disaster. The best off may well splurge.
Middle-income households may increase their spending a bit, and pay down debt. But Camilla Yanushevsky at CFRA Research said some of them may hold back, because they’re worried.
LPETTET via Getty Images

Music from the episode

Heartbreaker Crazy P

The team

Victoria Craig Host, BBC
Stephen Ryan Senior Producer, BBC
Jonathan Frewin Producer, BBC
Daniel Shin Producer
Jay Siebold Technical Director
Brian Allison Engineer
Meredith Garretson Morbey Senior Producer
Erika Soderstrom Producer
Rose Conlon Producer
Alex Schroeder Producer