During the crisis, the savings accounts of EU citizens grew significantly again. Especially people with above-average incomes put more money aside. Overall, the savings volume grew by 48 percent compared to 2019.
The savings rate doubled not only in Austria in 2020, but in the entire euro area. According to a new study, many people in Europe saved significantly more during the crisis. Last year, a balance of 585 billion euros flowed into current and savings accounts in the euro zone, according to an analysis by Hamburg-based financial company Deposit Solutions. The savings volume in the currency area grew by 48 percent compared to the previous year (2019: +395 billion euros).
The rich save more
A large part of the new money, around 150 billion euros, will go to German savers, it said. At the same time, they hardly achieve any return on bank deposits because of the permanently low interest rates. In Austria, according to recent information, 17 billion euros more were saved – mainly by people in the upper half of the income.
The Oesterreichische Nationalbank (OeNB) recently determined that “compulsory savings” due to the restrictions on consumption options in lockdown and “precautionary savings” due to the increased income uncertainty in 2020 led to a sharp rise in the savings rate to 13.7 percent (+5.5 percentage points) and led to a slump in private consumer spending (minus 8.8 percent). According to the experts from the Economic Research Institute (Wifo), the savings rate in Germany rose to 15.7 percent in 2020. During the year the savings rate even tripled for a short time.
8.3 trillion euros in savings accounts
According to the study, the volume of savings in Germany increased by 37 percent compared to the previous year – more than in Italy (32 percent), but less than in France (72) and Spain (38). In Great Britain, which was examined separately, the plus was even 170 percent. Since the second quarter of 2020, the inflows into savings accounts have been greater than in previous years, according to the study that was available to the German Press Agency. Accordingly, there were around 8.3 trillion euros in savings accounts in the euro zone at the end of 2020. Current, call money, fixed deposit and other savings accounts were analyzed.
“Falling consumption and a persistently uncertain economic environment have resulted in people having more money in their accounts than ever before,” said Tim Sievers, CEO of Deposit Solutions. The development is the same in all European countries. “Savings are playing an increasingly central role in people’s financial portfolios.”
According to a study, the bank balances of French savers in the euro zone rose the most in 2020, at around 2,200 euros per capita, followed by German savers at 1,800 euros. Behind them were Italian and Spanish savers with a per capita increase of 1,300 euros. For the paper, the consulting firm Barkow Consulting analyzed data from the European Central Bank and the Bank of England. In the UK, account balances increased by 2,500 euros per capita.
That people saved more money in the pandemic is nothing new. According to the Federal Statistical Office, the savings rate in Germany in the Corona year 2020 rose to a record high of 16.3 percent after 10.9 percent in the previous year. For every 100 euros of disposable income, households put on average 16 euros.