R.I. residents see increase in savings, checking accounts

Posted 10/30/12

STAMFORD, Conn. – Pitney Bowes Software has released data showing that shows that Rhode Island ranks 6th on a list of the nation’s average savings balances. This represents a 0.20 percent increase when compared to 2010, from $6,655 to $6,668. This is higher than the national average balance of $5,923.

The data also revealed Rhode Island ranks 11th in the nation for average noninterest checking accounts, an increase of 8.19percent from 2010, from $3,247 to $3,513.

Pitney Bowes Software of Stamford, Conn., has released new data showing that on a national level, the average consumers’ savings balance increased by 3 percent, just below the rate of inflation. Data showed savings increased from $5,753 to $5,923, and Pitney Bowes Software concluded that challenging conditions for saving still persist.

Checking account balances look a little bit healthier, as average balances nationwide for consumer bank noninterest checking accounts grew 5.2 percent, from $2,947 to $3,100.

However, the figures showed that there may be some other ramifications, specifically political fallout. The study showed a decline in average savings balances in four out of nine “battleground states” that have been identified for this year’s election. Balances for the calendar year 2011 fell in absolute terms in four swing states - Nevada, Colorado, Ohio and Florida - when compared to the averages for 2010.

Savings account balances grew slower than the inflation rate in three other states - Virginia, North Carolina and Wisconsin - representing a decline in the value of these accounts.

Swing state Iowa saw a 16 percent increase in checking account balances. Hawaii also saw big increases with 13 percent, and savings of 11 percent. Louisiana saw a 21 percent increase in savings account balances according to the data, while New York State saw a 19 percent increase and Alaska saw a 14 percent increase.

New Mexico had the lowest average non-interest checking ($2,206) and average savings ($4,119) account balances of all states after respective declines of 6 percent and 9 percent. Arizona ($2,314) and Arkansas ($2,422) had the next lowest average balances for noninterest checking accounts. Arizona’s average of $4,406 was also second lowest in terms of savings balances, with Nevada not far ahead at $4,697.

According to Pitney Bowes Software, “geocoded” account level data for over 100 million unique account records from commercial banks across the country was analyzed, as well as 200 block group-level demographic elements.

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