MSN Money:

All it took was a financial crisis followed by a recession to get Americans to start pocketing their cash. Americans are saving more money now than at any time since February 1995, The Wall Street Journal reports.

According to the Commerce Department, personal saving rose to 5.7% of after-tax income in April. That’s up from 4.5% in March. A year ago, the savings rate was a big fat zero. President Obama’s stimulus package helped, as it started adding a few more dollars in most Americans’ weekly paychecks.

This switch to saving would make your mother proud. But is increased saving actually a good thing? More spending is what will help jump-start the economy, and all this saving — while good for personal bank accounts — could be getting in the way of a recovery.

Keep in mind that the credit markets have a direct impact on the savings rate as well. More credit means more spending and less saving. The credit markets have dried up, and more saving is a natural result of that.

Photo by dlnny.

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