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Making Ends Meet in 2023: Insights from the Making Ends Meet Survey

Pandemic relief improved many consumers’ finances in 2020 and 2021, but in 2022 financial stability and health deteriorated across a range of measures. Using the 2023 Making Ends Meet survey, we show that in 2023 consumers were still on average somewhat better off financially than they were in 2019 but the trend is negative. Financial well-being was unchanged between 2022 and 2023 but more families had difficulty paying their bills. Income variability declined in 2023 but remains higher than in 2019. More families are unprepared for even a short interruption of income. Renters and consumers with student loans were particularly vulnerable to income disruptions and frequently had difficulty paying bills even before federal student loan payments resumed. Yet substantial liquidity remains for many consumers. Meanwhile, large disparities in financial stability and health continue across income, racial, and ethnic groups. Access to credit remains difficult for many consumers particularly Black and Hispanic consumers.

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