Washington Post

The shocking number of Americans who can’t cover a $400 expense

Technically speaking, America’s economic recovery from the Great Recession is in its seventh year, making it one of the longest expansions on record. The unemployment rate is falling, businesses are hiring and there are finally some signs that wages are rising.

But for so many households, that progress still feels painfully remote.

The Federal Reserve surveyed more than 5,000 people to determine whether their personal situations were improving along with the economy. The results, released Wednesday afternoon, found that though households showed “mild improvement” overall, their perspective depended on their income, race and education.

Take this one telling statistic: About 46 percent of Americans said they did not have enough money to cover a $400 emergency expense. Instead, they would have to put it on a credit card and pay it off over time, borrow from friends or family, or simply not cover it at all.

(Read the rest here.)