CHICAGO, Ill. — Money is not something anyone wants to worry about during the holidays. In a year still ravaged by the coronavirus pandemic and its economic fallout however, it appears many will be struggling through the most festive part of 2020. A survey finds over 60 percent of Americans say they’re now living paycheck-to-paycheck as the year draws to a close.
The poll of over 2,000 Americans, commissioned by Highland Solutions, wanted to see how spending habits and personal finances in the U.S. are holding up during the pandemic. Their results find 63 percent of respondents have cut back on their spending due to COVID. Six in 10 say they’re doing it to be more cautious, but 49 percent add it’s because of losing income at work.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Tina Morton recently faced a choice: Pay bills — or buy a birthday gift for a child? Derrisa Green is falling further behind on rent. Sylvia Soliz has had her electricity cut off.
Unemployment has forced aching decisions on millions of Americans and their families in the face of a rampaging viral pandemic that has closed shops and restaurants, paralyzed travel and left millions jobless for months. Now, their predicaments stand to grow bleaker yet if Congress fails to extend two unemployment programs that are set to expire the day after Christmas.
There are times when numbers tell a story, and this is one of them. And sometimes, as in this case, those numbers can have both social and investment significance.
Let’s start with two numbers: $4.3 trillion and $908 billion. The first represents how much the stock market rose in November, according to Wilshire Associates, an investment management firm whose Wilshire 5000 Total Market index measures the value of the entire U.S. stock market in dollars, not in points like the Dow industrials or S&P 500.
The second is the size of a proposed economic stimulus package to help the needy that was floated by a bipartisan group of senators and is being negotiated in Congress.