This amount of savings is exceptional: in the past ten years, the average for April has been around 440 million. That was almost nine times more last month.
It concerns the net investment: in total, more than 20.6 billion was put away last month, but also 16.8 billion euros was withdrawn.
Normally, the savings balance only grows so fast in May. In that month, most people receive their holiday pay. Last year’s net investment in May was EUR 6.2 billion. In the expensive December month, massive savings are drawn: last year 1.8 billion.
The savings balance in May is likely to be even higher this year: more people are setting aside their holiday pay, instead of spending it on their summer holidays, an ING survey showed earlier this month.
The savings balance is currently rising for two reasons, says Marieke Blom, chief economist at ING. “People save willingly, because they are not able to spend part of their expenses at the moment. But they also set aside money out of caution, because they fear the economic consequences of the corona virus.”
On the other hand, some of the people have lost their income because of the crisis, so they have to break their piggy bank. “The balance between those motives is going to shift,” says Blom. “What that does to the economy depends on how that ratio will turn out.”
After all, saving a lot is not good for the economy: money in a savings account is not spent with companies, which means they have less income.
If uncertainty remains high, there is a threat of a negative spiral: people do not dare to spend their money, as a result of which companies have less income, which in turn leads to staff being put on the street and uncertainty rising.
Crank the economy
“In general, saving is therefore a negative factor,” says Blom. However, it can work differently with the corona jar. “Money that has been saved unwillingly can have a positive effect in the future, if it is later spent. Then it gives the economy a swing.”
That money will get a different purpose, Blom expects: “People will soon spend money on things for their house. Our house has become much more important in recent months, so we want to make more of it. You see now even though it is busy at hardware stores and bulky waste stations. Social things such as dinners and going out are even less possible, so clothes and our appearance are also becoming less important. ”