According to a report at Bloomberg, Americans who consider themselves part of the upper-middle class are starting to feel an economic “pinch” under President Donald Trump while the top 1 percent continue to increase their fortunes.
The report notes that upper-income households are finding the economy is not their friend as prices increase and their incomes — like those of the less-well-off — are not keeping pace.
“Newly available net worth data from the Federal Reserve suggests that the ‘left-behind’ contagion has spread to all Americans aside from the top 10 percent,” Bloomberg report. “While still wealthier overall than most other groups, even the upper-middle class is feeling the pinch of income stagnation. The growth rate of this group’s incomes is lagging behind that of those both lower and higher on the socioeconomic ladder.”
The data shows that wealthier families are increasing their debt loads to keep pace — and that debt is much more costly in the form of overuse of credit cards.
Pointing out that “Credit card interest rates recently reached a generational high despite a relatively low prime rate. The spread between the two rates is at its highest point in almost a decade,” Bloomberg noted a frightening uptick in credit card debt servicing.
As for the very rich, they are increasing their wealth as others struggle.
“Company ownership, equity shares in both public and private firms, has been sliding for the upper middle class too. The share of equity ownership for those in the 50th percentile to the 90th percentile of net worth has fallen,” Bloomberg reports, adding dryly: “The top one percent of Americans owns the majority of shares.”
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