Econintersect: The Federal Reserve has published its triennial survey of consumer finances. If the report mirrored the financial condition of most Americans it should be shrinking. But the report is thorough and only gets longer. The data is not going to surprise many but the American dream has been withering and is a nightmare for some. The graph below is one of many in the report but is one of the most important for an overview of the American situation.
Both the top 3% and the bottom 90% of incomes were set back by recesssions. The top 1% recovered and surged ahead after each setback (not quite ahead by end of 2013). The lower 90% failed to recover to pre-recession levels. Those in the very upper middle class and lowerer regions of the wealthy class (90% to 97% of distribution) were both less affected by recessions and also showed little income increase in recovery.
As of 2013, compared to 1989:
- The top 3% has increased income share by 22% (25% of total increased to 30.5%).
- The next to top group (90% to 97%) has not changed share.
- The bottom 90% has decreased income share by 9% (58% of total decreased to 52.7%).
See also further discussion by Lance Roberts at StreetTalk Live.