Sunday, September 27, 2015

Consumption Inequality

Growth numbers are OK, the U.S. has posted 5 longer than average expansions in the last 2 generations, and everyone seems to have an awful lot of stuff.

But clearly there’s a growing problem with inequality. Part of the reason for this is that the top is doing very well, while the rest are merely doing OK.

Note two things: 1) this is already adjusted for inflation, and 2) it measures households. Households have been getting smaller through time, so the 30% improvement in consumption shown here packs more punch than is shown, and would be higher if we corrected for that. Of course, it would be higher for the top 5% too.

Drawn from the article entitled “How a Two-Tier Economy Is Reshaping the U.S. Marketplace” in the January 28 issue of The Wall Street Journal.

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