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As CEO of one of America’s biggest banks, Bank of America’s Brian Moynihan has unique insight into the health of the country’s economy. And right now, what he’s seeing is positive.

What’s happening: In an interview on CBS’ “Face the Nation” on Sunday, Moynihan said that consumer spending has jumped above $1 trillion this year, a 20% increase over 2019 levels.
 
And Americans are still sitting on a lot of extra cash.
 
“Our consumers have lots of money in their checking accounts,” Moynihan said. “They have not spent about 65 [to] 70% of the last couple of rounds of stimulus.”
A caveat: With the US economy still not fully back to normal, not everyone is thriving. But three rounds of stimulus payments have helped.
 
The US government has sent $804 billion directly to low- and middle-income individuals and families via direct deposit, checks or debit cards. According to a study published recently by researchers at the University of Michigan, the payments substantially reduced “material hardship” based on an analysis of Census data.
 
“It would appear the circumstances of US households improved following the delivery of robust income transfers deployed by the federal government,” the report’s authors wrote.
 
With some of that stimulus money still parked at the bank, Americans have significant financial power to fuel the economy’s ongoing resurgence.
Car rentals and hotels for leisure travel are “strong,” Moynihan said, adding that people are also starting to spend more at restaurants.
 
Bank of America predicts that the US economy will grow by 7% this year and 5.5% in 2022.
 
But there are a few catches. If consumers spend the stimulus money they’ve been saving, that could increase demand for goods and services beyond what the economy can provide, spurring inflation.
 
Moynihan also pointed to scrambled supply chains and worker shortages — problems Before the Bell readers are very familiar with — as “key risks.”
The latest: Export growth in China was worse than expected in May, according to data released Monday, with analysts pointing to computer chip shortages and other supply chain issues as one factor.
 
The Financial Times reports that Singapore-based Flex, one of the world’s top electronics contract manufacturers, now expects semiconductor shortages to run into 2022 or even 2023.
 
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