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Low Interest Rates Mean Money

  • USA Today, Wednesday, March 28, 2012 9:55 AM

A historic drop in interest rates is helping U.S. households save more than $3,000 a year on average, allowing consumers to spend more even as their earnings fall, a USA Today analysis finds. Americans spent 5.8% of their after-tax income paying interest on mortgages, credit cards, car loans and other debt, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. That's the smallest share since 1977 and a steep drop from a record high of 9.1% in 2007. 

"Even if people aren't paying attention to their interest payments falling, the money builds up in their checking account, and that especially benefits big-ticket items like cars," says Paul Taylor, chief economist for the National Automobile Dealers Association



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