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Savings in the European Union - statistics & facts

Savings represent the difference between disposable income and consumption expenditure. Simply put, money that people do not spend on goods or services. Besides absolute measures such as savings value, total and per capita, the main indicator to help describe how people save is the saving rate, which measures the ratio between disposable income and consumption expenditure. In 2019, the average net saving rate was equal to 5.6 percent in the European Union, and 6.2 percent in the euro area.

What drives saving behaviors?

Generally, people save money for future consumption, unforeseen emergencies, and retirement. However, attitudes towards saving are determined and influenced by several factors, mainly institutional and socioeconomic environment, demographics, income, employment security, consumer confidence, taxation, and interest rates. For this reason, saving behaviors vary greatly across countries, regardless of their economic development. This becomes particularly evident when looking at saving rates in the European Union. For instance, in 2019, the net saving rate amounted to 10.8 percent in Germany, while it was equal to two percent in Spain.

Savings during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

During the COVID-19 outbreak, savings reached unprecedented heights across the world. Due to reduced spending opportunities and generalized insecurity about the future, particularly in terms of employment, individuals worldwide started saving more money. In the European Union, saving rates in the second quarter of 2020 were generally high in all the member states and reached peaks of over 25 percent in countries like Germany and the Netherlands. This led to a considerable amount of money lying idle in bank accounts. Estimates published at the beginning of 2021 show how citizens in the wealthiest economies worldwide accumulated excess savings worth billions of dollars throughout 2020.

Interesting statistics

In the following 6 chapters, you will quickly find the 40 most important statistics relating to "Savings in the European Union".

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