Will Americans Get Any Stimulus Checks in 2023?

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  • The last round of federal stimulus checks was approved in March 2021.
  • There's been no stimulus aid this year, but that could change in 2023 if one thing happens.
  • A recession could lead to another round of stimulus checks.

It depends on one key factor.

For months on end, Americans have faced higher-than-average living costs as inflation has driven the price of just about everything up. As such, many people have depleted their savings over the past year. And some have racked up scores of credit card debt in the course of feeding their families and making sure there's a roof over their heads.

Because inflation has been so out of hand, many people have been hoping for another round of stimulus checks from the federal government. The last federal stimulus round to get approved put $1,400 checks in recipients' bank accounts, but those funds got the green light back in March 2021. Since then, there's been no federal stimulus aid to speak of, though some states have stepped up over the past few months and issued stimulus payments of their own.

At this point, it's pretty clear that federal stimulus aid is off the table for 2022. But will things change in 2023?

A recession could spur another stimulus round

There's a reason lawmakers aren't approving more stimulus checks right now: Economic conditions don't justify it. Sure, inflation is soaring, and many people are struggling. But the reality is that the U.S. labor market is still holding strong. And since unemployment levels are low, we're unlikely to see a stimulus round come through.

In fact, it's easy to argue that a round of stimulus checks could make inflation worse. A big reason we're in this mess is that many Americans were flush with cash last year thanks to stimulus checks at a time when supply chains had started shutting down. That created a disconnect between supply and demand that drove prices upward.

At this point, supply chains thankfully aren't as battered as they were last year. But still, if more money is pumped into the economy, it could cause an even wider gap between supply and demand, thereby worsening the problem.

So what can fix the issue of inflation? A reduction in consumer spending. The Federal Reserve has been raising interest rates in an attempt to make that happen. But if consumers start to balk at the higher cost of borrowing and curb their spending in a big way, it could fuel a recession, along with a massive uptick in unemployment.

Now, if a recession hits and jobless levels rise, that could drive lawmakers to approve another federal stimulus package. After all, it's been done before. But that's probably not something we should hope for.

Don't bank on a stimulus check in 2023

The U.S. economy has the potential to sour in 2023, and that could lead to a round of stimulus checks. But that's not something anyone should count on.

Those struggling to keep up with their bills can try to use today's strong labor market to help address that issue -- namely, by fighting for higher pay or seeking out better-paying jobs. The gig economy is also strong, so there are options for picking up side work. It may not be the same as a stimulus check, but it can serve as an income boost.

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