Only Top Third of Income Distribution Doing Well, Rest Are Just ‘Okay’ or in Trouble

On Friday’s “CNN Newsroom,” Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, said people in the top third of the income distribution are doing pretty well, but those in the middle are “okay.” “The bottom third of people are facing a very, very, very difficult situation,” he said. , a very difficult situation.

Zandi said:[O]Only half of Americans, perhaps a little more, own stocks. And perhaps only one-third of Americans own enough stock to actually make a difference. Two-thirds of Americans own their own home. In other words, they are benefiting from rising house prices. But one-third of Americans rent, which means many of them are locked out of buying a home because they can’t afford high mortgage rates and high home prices. So if you’re in the top third of the income distribution, everything is fine. You’re doing a really good job. You enjoy high stock prices. you have a job. Wages are rising. If you’re in the middle of the distribution, the middle third, you’re fine. You are, in a way, neither great nor bad, just typical. But if you’re in the bottom third of the distribution, it’s very, very difficult to get over there, very difficult. That’s why we hear such outrage. Now I have hope, things are moving in the right direction. Inflation is going down, food prices are going down, Jim, by the way, nothing has moved in the year in total, it hasn’t gone anywhere, wages are going up, and as the months go by, people’s mood is I think it will be a little better, but there are no game-changing events here. This is a process. ”

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