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One Year In: Did People Save More or Less During the Pandemic?

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pandemic saving rates

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The Briefing

  • Increased saving rates were a common trend across many countries during the global pandemic.
  • At its highest point the U.S. had a personal savings rate of 33%.

One Year In: A Look at Saving Rates During the Pandemic

While working hours were reduced across the globe and many lost their jobs entirely, personal saving rates actually increased throughout the pandemic in many countries.

A personal saving rate is calculated as the ratio of personal saving to disposable personal income. Here’s a look at the U.S.’ personal saving rate over 2020.

DateU.S. Savings Rate
January 20207.6%
February 20208.3%
March 202012.9%
April 202033.7%
May 202024.7%
June 202019.0%
July 202018.4%
August 202014.6%
September 202014.1%
October 202013.2%
November 202012.5%
December 202013.4%
January 202120.5%

The U.S.’ personal saving rate skyrocketed in April to more than 30%. After a dip near the end of 2020, the rate has jumped back up again to around 20% in January 2021.

With the most recent data from September 2020, many European countries’ savings rates were up, as well—the highest rate occurred in the Netherlands at 24%. Japan and the UK followed a similar trend as well, at 22% and 28% respectively.

The Pandemic Piggy Bank

Personal saving rates tend to increase during recessions and, more generally, either increase because of reduced consumption or a boost in income.

Without the same access to restaurants, shopping, and travel, it is somewhat unsurprising that a trend of increased saving rates occurred.

In the U.S., many have been putting a larger share of their disposable income into their savings as a precautionary measure. Additionally, while income has likely not increased in most cases, stimulus payments from the government have become much more widespread.

pandemic saving rates composition

Overall, the typical saving rates have not changed; what has driven up the country’s rates has been prudence and government checks. Whether or not this will influence future consumption or will continue a trend of increasingly large nest eggs, however, has yet to be determined.

The U.S. will likely see an increased inflow of government support, as Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus package has recently passed in Congress.

» Want to learn more? Check out our COVID-19 information hub to help put the past year into perspective

Where does this data come from?

Source: FRED, Office for National Statistics, EuroStat, and the Economic and Social Research Institute
Details: The date of most recent, available data varied on a country by country basis, with the earliest date being September 2020 and the most recent being January 2021.

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Datastream

Can You Calculate Your Daily Carbon Footprint?

Discover how the average person’s carbon footprint impacts the environment and learn how carbon credits can offset your carbon footprint.

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The Briefing

  • A person’s carbon footprint is substantial, with activities such as food consumption creating as much as 4,500 g of CO₂ emissions daily.
  • By purchasing carbon credits from Carbon Streaming Corporation, you can offset your own emissions and fund positive climate action.

Your Everyday Carbon Footprint

While many large businesses and countries have committed to net-zero goals, it is essential to acknowledge that your everyday activities also contribute to global emissions.

In this graphic, sponsored by Carbon Streaming Corporation, we will explore how the choices we make and the products we use have a profound impact on our carbon footprint.

Carbon Emissions by Activity

Here are some of the daily activities and products of the average person and their carbon footprint, according to Clever Carbon.

Household Activities & ProductsCO2 Emissions (g)
💡 Standard Light Bulb (100 watts, four hours)172 g
📱 Mobile Phone Use (195 minutes per day)*189 g
👕 Washing Machine (0.63 kWh)275 g
🔥 Electric Oven (1.56 kWh)675 g
♨️ Tumble Dryer (2.5 kWh)1,000 g
🧻 Toilet Roll (2 ply)1,300 g
🚿 Hot Shower (10 mins)2,000 g
🚙 Daily Commute (one hour, by car)3,360 g
🍽️ Average Daily Food Consumption (three meals of 600 calories)4,500 g
*Phone use based on yearly use of 69kg per the source, Reboxed

Your choice of transportation plays a crucial role in determining your carbon footprint. For instance, a 15 km daily commute to work on public transport generates an average of 1,464 g of CO₂ emissions. Compared to 3,360 g—twice the volume for a journey the same length by car.

By opting for more sustainable modes of transport, such as cycling, walking, or public transportation, you can significantly reduce your carbon footprint.

Addressing Your Carbon Footprint

One way to compensate for your emissions is by purchasing high-quality carbon credits. 

Carbon credits are used to help fund projects that avoid, reduce or remove CO₂ emissions. This includes nature-based solutions such as reforestation and improved forest management, or technology-based solutions such as the production of biochar and carbon capture and storage (CCS).

While carbon credits offer a potential solution for individuals to help reduce global emissions, public awareness remains a significant challenge. A BCG-Patch survey revealed that only 34% of U.S. consumers are familiar with carbon credits, and only 3% have purchased them in the past.

About Carbon Streaming

By financing the creation or expansion of carbon projects, Carbon Streaming Corporation secures the rights to future carbon credits generated by these sustainable projects. You can then purchase these carbon credits to help fund climate solutions around the world and compensate for your own emissions. 

Ready to get involved?

>> Learn more about purchasing carbon credits at Carbon Streaming

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