Only 30% of 2008 Tax Rebates Spent

Recently, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported on the results of the Economic Stimulus Payments, or tax rebates, of early 2008.

Those who were eligible for the full tax rebates (individuals earning under $75,000 and married couples earning under $150,000) received:

  • $600 for individuals
  • $1,200 for married couples
  • $300 per child under 18 in 2007

Results from the Consumer Expenditure Survey between June 2008 and March 2009 showed that 49 percent of the rebates were used to pay off debt, while 30 percent was spent and 18 percent was saved. The patterns of paying off debt, spending, and saving from the rebates generally held true across income groups.

As Pete Davis pointed out on Capital Gains and Games, with people using only 30 percent of the rebates for general spending, it shows how there’s no silver bullet, or even a quick way, to stimulate demand in the economy.

Visit for a complete description and details on the 2008 individual tax rebates.