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Most Euro-Zone Consumers Didn’t Actually Save More in Pandemic


Only a fifth of euro-zone households hoarded savings in the pandemic, suggesting most don’t have an extra buffer against inflation, European Central Bank analysis shows.

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(Bloomberg) — Only a fifth of euro-zone households hoarded savings in the pandemic, suggesting most don’t have an extra buffer against inflation, European Central Bank analysis shows.  

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The study — a pre release of the ECB’s economic bulletin published Monday — is based on a survey in six of the largest economies of the region during 2020 and 2021. It found that 20% increased savings and 16% shrank them during that time. 

“The distribution of savings accumulated during the Covid-19 pandemic may thus limit the extent to which these savings can shield the ongoing recovery of consumption from the adverse impact of the recent surge in energy prices,” economists Maarten Dossche, Dimitris Georgarakos, Aleksandra Kolndrekaj and Francisco Tavares wrote in an article for the ECB’s monthly bulletin.  

That conclusion may have implications for current policy. ECB President Christine Lagarde said on July 21 that “consumption is being supported by the savings that households built up during the pandemic, and by a strong labor market.”



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