The Stock Market Boom During the Pandemic Is Due to Increased Savings

Personal income was higher, lost wages were offset by unemployment benefits and stimulus programs. Consumers spent less on services (hotels, air travel), more on durable goods (e.g. better home office equipment), and saved 173% more money than last year. More people are buying homes, in part due to low interest rates and the pandemic. Low interest rates also investors into higher risk asset classes (they can no longer get the same returns from bonds for example) which pushes more capital into the stock market (lowering the federal funds rate causes all asset classes increase in value).

The stock market surge is fueled by people that escaped the economic damage from the pandemic—those in higher paying jobs that can operate during the shutdown. In fact, some businesses are booming and the rise in wages from say a bonus due to strong company performance can offset the lost wages of low paid front-line workers.

Read the article from the NY Times.