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Entries in Americans (2)

Wednesday
Sep192012

More Americans Paying Off Debts

George Doyle/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- You might be better off than you think! Americans owe far less money than they did five years ago before the recession, and they are paying the bills at the best rate in years.

According to the latest survey by S&P Dow Jones Indices and Experian, most loan types saw a decrease in default rates. The national average has dropped for eight consecutive months.

“People are being far more disciplined than they used to be,” says top S&P economist David Blitzer.  ”A big part of that drop has been mortgages but the decline in debt levels has not only been mortgages but has really been across the board.”

Auto loan default rates are close to record lows. “Those levels have really dropped down to where they were long before the financial crisis.” It’s a big change from the days of no-doc loans and other forms of unrestrained lending.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Oct262011

Top 1 Percent's Income Soared Since '79

John Foxx/Stockbyte(WASHINGTON) -- The income of the richest 1 percent in the U.S. soared 275 percent from 1979 to 2007, but the bottom 20 percent grew by just 18 percent, new government data shows.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released a study this week that compared real after-tax household income between 1979 and 2007, which were both after recessions and had similar overall economic activity.

While the income of the richest 1 percent nearly tripled, increases were smaller down the economic ladder. After the 1 percent, income for the next highest 20 percent grew by 65 percent, much faster than it did for the remaining 80 percent of the population but still lagging well behind the top percentile.

The changes illustrate how the better off have captured the bulk of income gains over the past three decades. The top quintile has seen its share of income rise while the other four quintiles have suffered declines in their shares, according to John Bowler, director of country risk service with the Economist Intelligence Unit.

The report states that without the growth of the top percentile, income inequality still would have increased, "but not by nearly as much." The study was prepared at the request of Sens. Max Baucus, D-Mont., and Charles Grassley, R-Iowa.

The CBO said the reasons for the rapid growth at the top are "not well understood," though some possibilities include technical innovations that have changed the labor market for superstars, "such as actors, athletes, and musicians," changes in executive compensation, and increasing scale of financial-sector activities.  

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio