On Monday, Axios reported that the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in an uptick in the savings rate — and the bulk of this comes from large corporations and wealthy families "hoarding" money, locking it away from the greater economy.
"Thanks to the pandemic, the tendency of the wealthy socking away their money appears to be getting worse," reported Dion Rabouin. "A recent survey from Pew Research found that Americans have cut back on spending, especially at upper-income levels, over the past year. 32% of 'upper income' adults said they were saving more since the pandemic began, compared to 23% of all respondents and 17% of 'lower income' adults."
The report also found the trend in the business sector: "Cash holdings for S&P 500 companies rose to a record $1.9 trillion, while cash and investments held by U.S. nonfinancial companies rated by S&P Global rose 30% to a record $2.5 trillion in the first half of 2020."
For a variety of reasons, lower-income households save a far lower fraction of their money. This is a key reason why there has been strong support in polls for ensuring that the relief in the just-passed American Rescue Plan is means-tested, with more money going to lower-income households.