The US saw the largest monthly increase in household income in March since government records began tracing that metric more than 60 years ago. The record 21.1% surge, following a 7% decline in February, came after President Biden signed a relief package that included $1,400 stimulus checks. Those payments accounted for the vast majority of the March spike in personal income—$3.9 trillion of the total $4.2 trillion, reports the Wall Street Journal. There was also a 1.1% rise in wages and salaries, a reflection of strong hiring in the month, per the AP.
Americans evidently socked away much of the money. The personal savings rate climbed to 27.6% for the second highest rate on record after April 2020, when Americans received an initial round of coronavirus-related aid. The savings rate was 13.9% in February. Consumer spending, however, also rose: It was up 4.2% in March for the largest month-over-month increase since a 6.5% increase was in June, per the AP. "The strong gains offer yet more evidence that the economy is poised for a rapid recovery following last year's pandemic-triggered recession," writes the AP's Martin Crutsinger. (Read more household income stories.)