With the third round of relief payments, Bank of America anticipates more of the funds will be saved in one way or another, not spent. In its survey of 3,000 people in late February, only 36% of respondents said they planned to spend the money. The rest had other plans: 9% planned to invest it, 25% would save it and 30% would use it to pay off debts.
It’s not good news for sellers of food, clothing and other necessities. Planned use of the money in those categories is anticipated to be down almost 5% from what people planned to do with the payments last year. One bright spot is vacation and travel, which saw big gains compared with earlier surveys but it was still a small part of overall picture.
Bank of America found that every household income group planned to save much more than normal. Among high earners, people with household incomes of more than $120,000, 79% said they either planned to save it, pay off debts or invest it. That same sentiment was echoed by 53% of people surveyed who had household incomes of less than $30,000. The lower-income group also reported the highest intentions of spending it on food, clothing and other needed purchasers.