Tags: Shiller | technology | savings | home

Shiller: Fear of Technology Boosts Savings, Home Prices

By    |   Thursday, 23 April 2015 06:20 AM

We generally think about technological developments in a good way. Imagine all the good things Apple and Amazon have brought us, for example.

But many Americans are worried about losing their jobs to technology, Nobel laureate economist Robert Shiller pointed out at a forum for the National Association of Realtors this week. And that's leading them to save more and bid up home prices, he said, according to MarketWatch.

Machines are eliminating the need for workers at a "tremendous" rate, and inequality is increasing, Shiller said.

"We have an era of billionaires, and a lot of people feel they are being left behind. People want to save more because they are afraid for their jobs."

The savings rate jumped to 5.8 percent in February, the highest since December 2012 and up from 4.4 percent just three months earlier. And the S&P Case-Shiller home price index climbed 4.6 percent in the 12 months through January.

"The higher prices we are seeing today have something to do with anxiety about technology," Shiller said. "We have never been so anxious before. People are bidding up prices of saving vehicles."

Perhaps it's no wonder then that Gallup's Financial Worry index, which tracks the percentage of Americans concerned about multiple common financial challenges, stands at 50 percent, up slightly from 49 percent last year.

While the index has dipped from the 56-to-61 percent range that prevailed from 2008 through 2012, it remains higher than it was prior to the Great Recession.

The gauge measures the percentage of Americans who are worried about three or more financial issues out of the seven that Gallup tracks.

The most common worry, afflicting 60 percent of us, is not having enough money for retirement. The most minor wary, confronting 20 percent of us, is not being able to make minimum payments on our credit cards.

"Americans' current levels of worry suggest they have still not fully recovered from the recession," wrote Gallup's Lydia Saad.

"While they are less worried about everyday financial matters than they were during and immediately after the 2007-2009 recession, Americans remain more worried than they were in the years preceding it."

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We generally think about technological developments in a good way. Imagine all the good things Apple and Amazon have brought us, for example.
Shiller, technology, savings, home
358
2015-20-23
Thursday, 23 April 2015 06:20 AM
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