- A new report found that nearly two-thirds of the US population are living paycheck to paycheck.
- The percentage is down slightly from March, but is part of an upward trend as living costs outpace wage growth.
- CEOs are warning that consumers' savings are going to run out as inflation rises.
As inflation continues to rise, it's impacting the spending power of consumers across the income spectrum.
A new report from PYMNTS.com and LendingClub found that nearly two-thirds of the US population — about 157 million adults — are living paycheck to paycheck. Compared to a year ago, that's up 9 percentage points from 52% in April 2021 to 61% in April 2022.
Although the 61% in April is a slight decrease from the 64% of consumers living paycheck to paycheck in March 2022, it's part of an upwards trend of consumers living paycheck to paycheck as the cost of living outpaces wage growth.
The report also found that 36% of high-income consumers, those making $250,000 or more annually, are among those living paycheck to paycheck. But, the report made the distinction between two categories of consumers living paycheck to paycheck: those who can pay their bills, and those who cannot.
Twenty-four percent of consumers making over $250,000 were living paycheck to paycheck without issues paying their bills in April 2022, while 36% of lower-income consumers — those making less than $50,000 — were living paycheck to paycheck and had issues paying bills.
This comes as fears of a recession loom, and consumers spend through the money they saved up during the pandemic.
The Washington Post reports that during a panel at the World Economic Forum, PayPal CEO Dan Schulman said that as people entered the pandemic, and in many cases received government stimulus, their savings increased from $400 to around $2,000 on average.
But if inflation continues to rise and consumers continue to spend, their savings can run out by the end of the year, he said.
Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase, recently said US consumers have six to nine months left of spending power in their bank accounts.
Schulman said at lower-income levels, there's already a reduction in spending, and middle-income consumers are moving to do the same.
Based on conversations with the world's leading retailers, Schulman said inflation looks to remain high.