Belgians are not saving like they used to!

Belgians have a reputation for being Europe's most enthusiastic savers, but new figures from the European Commission (EC) suggest that the times are a-changing. In 2014 Belgians hoarded away 13% of their income, while a couple of years earlier in 2010 this figure was 18%.

The people of Belgium have 240 billion euros stashed away on savings accounts. It's a problem for the economy because it means this cash is not being used on the high-street.

Higher consumer spending boosts economic growth and that is something we all need in the Eurozone. Consumer confidence has been on the rise in recent months, but this still has to fuel through into the wider economy.

The EC claims Belgians are saving 13.4% of their income this year. Next year the figure is forecast to fall to 13.3%. Today Belgians are saving a similar amount to most other Europeans.

The EC's definition of saving is a broad one and includes cash that is spent on shares, bonds, new homes and home renovations.

As recently as the 1990's Belgians were stashing a full 20% of their income away on savings accounts.

The fall in Belgians' savings' drive may also be linked to the poor performance of the economy. Wages are not going up as much as they used to and fewer new jobs are being created. As a result people have less cash to hoard away.

 

Top stories