When assessing inflation, it's not just the data, it's also the narrative

May 17, 2024
The CBO data show purchasing power rising across all income groups, but the numbers reflect averages, and individuals' experiences vary.
According to the Congressional Budget Office, purchasing power went up across all income groups because incomes grew faster than prices between 2019 and 2023.
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Consumers don't expect their incomes to grow as fast as prices

May 13, 2024
Consumers forecast inflation at 3.3% this time next year and are less confident that their earnings will rise as much as they had expected.
Consumers expect to spend more on the need-to-haves, like housing and food. Discretionary want-to-haves in their budgets may be squeezed.
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Workers used to earn about two-thirds of the income their labor generates. Now, it's just over half.

Apr 12, 2024
The stat, called labor share of national income, is being squeezed by globalization, declining union membership and automation.
Even though workers' slice of the pie is shrinking, the U.S. economy is growing, so they're getting a smaller slice of a bigger pie.
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Should the U.S. raise the retirement age?

Mar 26, 2024
Larry Fink, head of the largest money manager in the world, suggested in an investor letter that the retirement age should be higher because of longer life expectancies. But is that realistic?
Larry Fink, the head of BlackRock — the largest money lender in the world — suggested in an investor letter Monday that we should maybe consider pushing up the retirement age.
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What do falling inflation and rising incomes mean for consumer spending?

Feb 29, 2024
The January PCE report showed inflation easing further but still significant. Moderation in spending could also continue, analysts say.
Wage growth was resilient in January, but Social Security and other factors added to income gains.
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With prices falling and incomes rising, consumers get a break in time for Christmas

Dec 22, 2023
The PCE report for November shows that prices fell slightly and disposable personal income rose, along with the savings rate.
Consumers have been sullen about the economy despite the improvement in inflation, but that might be changing.
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Census: Income fell, poverty increased in 2022

Sep 12, 2023
The expiration of pandemic-era government benefits is partially responsible for the increases in poverty.
Above, a food pantry, in Queens, New York. With pandemic-era benefits ending, post-tax real incomes fell 14% for the lowest earners in the U.S. in 2022.
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For public good, not for profit.

Social Security has funding problems. How do we fix it before benefits are cut?

Jun 12, 2023
The trust fund supplementing income taxes could run dry within 10 years. Dennis Jansen of Texas A&M suggests reforms.
About 67 million Americans receive Social Security income.
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How your parents' income throughout your childhood can change your life

Research finds that the money your parents are making when you're a teen, rather than child, is more predictive of your outcomes as an adult.
A lot of research on intergenerational mobility has focused on parents' income when children are young. But new research finds that parental income when children are older could have a bigger influence on how much they earn as adults.
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Household income stayed flat in 2021, census data shows

Sep 14, 2022
Wage increases have been eaten by high inflation.
Despite talk about pay increases and a hot labor market, wages have remained stagnant for years when you account for inflation.
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