Should people spend or hoard?

A shopper at a store in California last month, after stores were allowed to reopen with restrictions. Whether people see unexpected savings built up during coronavirus lockdowns as a windfall or a buffer against future uncertainties is likely to dete
A shopper at a store in California last month, after stores were allowed to reopen with restrictions. Whether people see unexpected savings built up during coronavirus lockdowns as a windfall or a buffer against future uncertainties is likely to determine the speed of economic recovery, at least this year.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Many households have built up a stash of savings during the coronavirus lockdowns of the past three months - and how they view them may dictate the speed of recovery from the pandemic.

Although the shock has caused spikes in unemployment, most households spent lockdown periods either working from home, furloughed or on direct government income support. And with few goods or services available to buy, their savings have soared.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on June 14, 2020, with the headline 'Should people spend or hoard?'. Subscribe