Germany is Europe's savings champion

Germany is Europe's savings champion

The coronavirus crisis has made opportunities for spending money fewer and further between,  and so people in the European Union saved more in 2020 than ever before. The Germans alone put aside almost 390 billion euros last year, making them the biggest savers in the EU, by a country mile. 

Private households in Germany saved more money in 2020

For the eighth year in a row, private households in Germany put aside more money in 2020 than any other country in the Eurozone. According to calculations by ING Germany and Barkow consulting, people in Germany saved 388,5 billion euros in bank accounts, stocks and shares in 2020 - 45 percent more than in 2019. 

This makes them the champion savers of Europe, ahead of the French, who put aside 260,7 billion euros in 2020, the Italians (122,7 billion euros) and the Spanish (78,2 billion euros). 

Overall, people in the Eurozone own more wealth than ever before, the study found. For the first time ever last year, savers in the 19 countries studied put more than one trillion euros into financial investments. At the same time, price increases pushed up the total value of financial assets held by Europeans to approximately 27,3 trillion euros. 

Coronavirus pandemic exacerbating social inequalities

The study’s authors are pretty clear on the major cause for the strong increase in financial investments: the coronavirus pandemic. Due to restrictions, many people in Europe were unable to spend their money as they would usually do: holidays were cancelled, while the closure of shops and restaurants slowed consumption. According to the Federal Statistical Office, household spending fell by 5,4 percent in Germany alone in 2020. 

People were also more likely to put money aside out of fear of being made unemployed or put on Kurzarbeit. On average, each European put aside 3.121 euros last year, according to the study. In Germany, the average saving was 4.671 euros - almost 33 percent more than last year, and the highest value ever recorded. 

However, while those on high incomes were able to stash away their wealth for a time after the pandemic, low and medium earners were hardest hit. According to a recent survey, around a quarter of households in Germany said their incomes had shrunk during the pandemic, with many on particularly low incomes struggling to make ends meet - an indication of how coronavirus has exacerbated social inequalities. 



Abi Carter

Managing Editor at IamExpat Media. Abi studied German and History at the University of Manchester and has since lived in Berlin, Hamburg and Utrecht, working since 2017 as a writer,...

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