Here’s what the pandemic means to the average American household

The COVID-19 pandemic is still very much around, but from an economic perspective, it has an increasingly smaller impact on daily life. Gone are the days when most stores were closed, although the mandate for masks and vaccines remains, and supply chain problems are keeping some products off the shelves.

The spending disruptions, as well as the unprecedented government response in the form of additional unemployment checks and direct stimulus checks, have altered the balance sheets of US consumers.

In a note to clients, Michael Tran, commodity strategist and digital intelligence at RBC Capital Markets, calculate how much: $9,500. And that nesting egg will allow for an amazing savings rate of -10.8% for all of 2022. That is, a typical household could spend their entire salary and add 10, 8%. In other words, the average household will have an extra $679 to spend each month. “The bottom line is that total spending is still growing and shows little sign of abating, and household balance sheets are strong enough to absorb a significant amount of continued spending,” Tran said.

That savings also means that spending on goods doesn’t eat away at spending on services. Spending at home improvement stores, for example, is still growing, even as they’re no longer one of the few shops open.

He drew a contrast between the strength of the US consumer balance sheet and rather miserable consumer sentiment. “It seems that consumers recognize the difficulty of the current environment and are engaged. An important question (with the most important read-through on major inflation issues) is whether consumers are now primarily buying on the assumption that prices will be higher later on,” he said.

One area where traffic has increased sharply but sales have not been followed is vehicle sales. “This means interested consumers are being priced out of the market and have fewer sales per customer visit or supply chain issues continue to impede the time between purchase. order, delivery and subscription or both,” Tran said.

Related: This chart from Gundlach shows how hot the US economy is doing


Omicron variant of coronavirus can partially avoid protection from vaccines, according to laboratory tests carried out in South Africa. “The vaccine works, but it’s not a completely different ball game,” said Alex Sigal, the virologist who led the study. The Wall Street Journal reported that Pfizer
+ 0.47%

and BioNTech
+ 8.17%

says a third dose of its Covid-19 vaccine neutralized the Omicron variant in lab tests, while two doses were able to prevent severe illness.

The House of Representatives voted on a bill that paved the way for raising the debt ceiling in the United States Senate.

Supply chain problems mean Apple
+ 3.54%

won’t hit the iPhone 13 production target, Nikkei reported.

Results from GameStop favorite meme-stock
+ 6.40%

will be due upon termination.

China’s Weibo social networking service
+ 4.69%

get down on the first day of trading in Hong Kong.

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US stock futures
+ 0.41%

+ 0.34%

edged higher after the WSJ report on the vaccine.

Yield on 10-year Treasuries

is 1.46%. GBP

dropped after it was reported the UK Government would impose more restrictions as coronavirus cases increase.

Top code

Below are the most active tickers on MarketWatch, as of 6 a.m. ET.


Security name

+ 4.24%


+ 6.40%


+ 7.82%

AMC Entertainment


US 10-year Treasury bond


US Dollar Index

+ 2.41%


+ 0.41%

E-mini S&P 500 Futures Contract

+ 1.40%

Dow Jones Industrial Average

+ 3.54%


+ 1.57%


Random reading

Give up the violin: Australia’s richest woman says that there isn’t enough room to dock her superyacht.

In other billionaire news, Japan’s Yusake Maezawa will join the International Space Station in 12 days.

The odds of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaving office this year have fallen to as low as 15 to 1, from 149 to 1, on gambling website Betfair, after a scandal about a holiday party held during pandemic restrictions last year.

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