Americans are tapping into substantial savings they've accumulated over the course of the pandemic, amid soaring inflation that's sending the costs of food, housing and other necessities way up.
During the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Americans' cash cushions grew as they hunkered down, sheltered in place and stopped spending money on dining out, travel and more. They also benefitted from three rounds of stimulus checks, extra unemployment aid and Child Tax Credit payments.
At their peak in December 2021, Americans' excess savings totaled $2.7 trillion, according to a Moody's Analytics analysis. Meanwhile, inflation has flared this year, reaching a 40-year high, as prices for everything from gasoline to food have surged. That has crimped household budgets as wages for many workers aren't keeping pace.