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Graphic shows breakdown of savings by country.


Coronavirus impact on savings

By Duncan Mil

March 3, 2021 - Households in the world’s largest economies amassed $2.9 trillion in extra savings during pandemic lockdowns -- spending power that could help global recovery, according to Bloomberg Economics.

Despite the financial distress experienced by many families during the pandemic lockdowns of the past year, most developed economies could work from home or received furlough payments or direct government cheques. With few services, travel or leisure activities open to spend incomes on, “excess” savings in the U.S., China, Britain, Japan and the biggest euro-area nations soared.

Almost half of the $2.9 trillion -- $1.5 trillion -- is in the U.S. alone, Bloomberg data show. Chinese households poured 2.8 trillion yuan ($430 billion) more into their bank accounts than they might have done usually.

Deposits also rose 32.6 trillion yen ($300 billion) in Japan, and eurozone economies climbed a combined €387 billion ($468 billion). An analysis of British banks’ results shows domestic customers deposited £117 billion ($160 billion) of extra cash last year.

However, Bloomberg concludes that those who earn the most will likely have stockpiled. In contrast, lower-income households may have already dipped into their savings. Others may resist the urge to splurge, fearing that at some point governments will hike taxes to pay for their rescue programmes.

PUBLISHED: 03/03/2021; STORY: Graphic News