Press Release COVID-19 Economic Crisis and Recovery United States

COVID Stimulus Checks Generally Assuaged Economic Concerns, Analysis Shows

July 07, 2021

Contact: Karen Conner, 202-281-4159Mail_Outline

Washington DC — A new analysis of household spending and consumer sentiment, released today by the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR), reports that, in general, the pandemic relief checks helped the economic recovery.

“The analysis shows that concern-related spending changes dip after the passage of these stimulus bills,” said Lee. “While we don’t have the evidence to prove causality, this supports the idea that fiscal spending had a meaningful impact in helping the economic recovery.”

CEPR’s Aiden Lee tracked pandemic spending and consumer sentiment between October 28, 2020 and May 10, 2021 after individuals received the last two of the three cash payments, or “stimulus checks,” paid out as part of various federal emergency pandemic relief acts.

Optimism about the economy peaked, unsurprisingly, among high-income, white, or Asian households surveyed recently in late April to early May this year. In fact, about 5.8 percent of households earning more than $200,000 reported spending changes due to no longer being concerned about the economy. 

Optimism was muted for those with less. With higher rates of job loss or reduced work hours, just 2.3 percent of households with incomes below $25,000 reported economic optimism. 

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