CNN data reporter Harry Enten shared some “kind of depressing” economic news with host Erica Hill on Friday night as he focused on disposable income as an economic indicator for Americans today.
Hill was describing the strength of the current economy saying that the U.S. added 200,000 jobs the previous month, there were gains in the stock market, and unemployment was down to 3.7%. She was rehashing some of the same talking points that Fed Chair Jerome Powell has said about the economy recently.
She then said that even with these strong economic indicators, “the vast majority of Americans say the economic conditions right now are poor.”
Enten’s response was not to focus on the economic measures described by Hill, but to instead state that those measures were not what are most important to the majority of Americans.
“I mean, if you were to look basically at disposable income, the change in disposable income, that is probably the weakest economic measure there is out there. From the first year of a president’s term to now in a term, look at this. We’ve actually had negative growth,” Enten said.
“We have actually decreased the amount of disposable income we’ve had, 2.7% for the Biden Administration. The average for the president since JFK, is plus 4.5%. And even in the last few months, the last six months, the growth that we’ve had just 0.2%. The average six months since 1961? 1.1%,” Enten continued.
Hill’s response: “That’s kind of depressing.”
While measures like the stock market and job situation are important economic measures, they are not the ones that most affect average Americans. People do not care if the stock market is performing well if they cannot buy food and gas.
According to the Daily Mail, JP Morgan analysts are predicting the economy to worsen moving into 2024 stating, “Come mid-2024 some 99 percent of Americans will be less well off financially than they were before Covid.”
Ninety-nine percent of Americans will have less money in the bank by mid-2024 than they did pre-pandemic – as inflation and high interest rates batter their savings, JPMorgan analyst say https://t.co/wSoeZaSsQG pic.twitter.com/yOuB4Y4ABe
— Daily Mail Online (@MailOnline) December 13, 2023
Another report states that only the wealthiest 1% of Americans will not have burnt through the savings they were able to accumulate during the pandemic.
Even if the stock market improves, inflation does not increase as quickly, and the job market continues to grow, Americans know when the economy is strong. Right now, with soaring costs, record low disposable income, decreasing savings accounts, and high increases in housing and fuel, average Americans are struggling.