Americans had $8 trillion in savings during the first quarter of 2011, more money than at any other time in history, according to a report issued this week by Market Rates Insight, a banking research firm.
To reach this record savings amount, American adults socked away $118 billion in just four months, according to the report. That included an increase in savings account balances of $65 billion (up 1.8% from the previous quarter), and $40 billion in checking account balances (a 3.8 % increase).
People are being smart about where they put their money, too. Total investments in CDs dropped by $53 billion. That made a lot of sense because even the best certificates of deposit have interest rates so low that investors are actually losing money to inflation. The best five-year term CD in the country currently pays 2.4% while the inflation rate has hovered above 3% since April, according to a Market Rates Insight report published last week.
The latest results confirm the predictions made in January by Dan Geller, Market Rates Insight’s chief economist, who expected “low rates, higher balances and a shift from term to liquid accounts” in 2011.
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Image: Aldo Gonzalez, via Flickr