Americans have received three Economic Impact Payments in the form of a stimulus check or package since last year.
Most eligible Americans have already received a third stimulus check. While some have yet to obtain theirs, the Internal Revenue Service is continuing to work on the disbursements.
To date, the government has already distributed over 167 million payments. As the number continues to increase, Forbes released a report on how the recipients have spent their money. The publication based its reporting on new research from Peter G. Peterson Foundation.
How recipients spent their relief payments?
The first stimulus check, amounting to $600, with an additional AU$777 for each qualifying child, arrived in April of 2020. As per the data, 75 percent of the recipients “used or planned to use” the payments for household expenses.
It seemingly makes total sense considering the unemployment rate at that time was 14.7 percent. Moreover, the pandemic had just emerged, so there was “greater uncertainty” about the COVID-19 crisis.
The spending patterns changed, however, upon the release of the second and third stimulus packages. The research found out that about only 20 percent spent or planned to spend the direct payments on essentials, like food and housing. Most of the recipients reportedly chose to utilize the checks for “retirement” or debts.
The amounts of the second and third relief payments are over AU$1,550 and AU$1,800. Each package has an additional AU$650 and AU$1,800, respectively, for every eligible child.
Have the checks helped the economy?
As for how much the stimulus check payments have helped the economy, the research reportedly remains inconclusive. But, the three Economic Impact Payments “may have contributed to a rise” in economic growth.
Meanwhile, legislators believe that the three one-time direct payments are not enough. This is why they are pushing for another COVID-19 relief payment. As reported, they are seeing it as a helpful way to “keep 12 million people out of poverty.”
Will there be a fourth stimulus check?
While the push continues to get support, several publications asserted that a fourth direct payment is highly unlikely. A separate report from Forbes provided some reasons why it would not possibly happen.
Primarily, there is reportedly not enough support from Congress. In addition to this, the Biden administration is placing its focus on the Infrastructure package, and not on another relief payment.
Alongside these points, more Americans are now getting the COVID-19 vaccines. As a result, restrictions are now starting to ease, and the economy is picking it all up. Therefore, the need for a fourth stimulus check may have now begun to decline.