Economics in a picture
During the pandemic, the percentage of households saving more increased for all income levels, but especially for the highest
The 2020 Portuguese Household Finance and Consumption Survey, which was conducted between October 2020 and February 2021, includes questions to characterise the saving behaviour of households during the pandemic crisis in Portugal. In the 2020 survey, households were asked whether the amount they had saved in the 12 months prior to the interview was lower, equal to or higher than usual
In 2020, compared to 2017, there was an increase in the share of households with higher than usual savings, from 4% to 11%. This increase was common to all income groups, but was more pronounced in the highest income group. While in the lowest income group 3% of households declared having saved more than usual (2% in 2017), in the highest income group this share was 22% (8% in 2017). Across all income groups, the majority of households declared that the additional savings were originated mainly from a reduction in expenditure, were unplanned and were mainly invested in deposits, savings/Treasury certificates or cash. This reflects the common nature of the shock and suggests that the pandemic containment measures and contagion fears have been key determinants of savings in this period.
For more details see Box 3 “Household saving during the pandemic crisis”, published in the Economic Bulletin of Banco de Portugal, December 2021.
Prepared by Sónia Costa. The analyses, opinions and findings expressed above represent the views of the author and not necessarily those of Banco de Portugal or the Eurosystem.
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