October 23, 2009 (The Editor’s Desk is updated each business day.)

Pay off debt, spend, or save? The 2008 Economic Stimulus Payments

Percentage distribution of use of 2008 Economic Stimulus Payments (tax rebates), by composition of consumer unit, June 2008–March 2009
Rebate was used mostly for Consumer unit
All consumer units Husband and wife,
at least one
qualifying child
Single parent, at
least one
qualifying child
Husband and
wife only
Single person, 18
years or older
All other
consumer units


30.2 28.7 26.9 31.9 31.9 29.0


17.6 15.0 6.1 23.3 21.4 13.0

Paying off debt

49.1 53.8 65.2 41.7 43.6 54.4

No information reported

3.0 2.5 1.8 3.1 3.2 3.6

These data featured in the TED article, Pay off debt, spend, or save? The 2008 Economic Stimulus Payments.




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