Monday, 16 october 2017 | Redacción CEU
The economic recession years are already behind, but our savings still represent a very small volume. During the crisis, we learned how to tighten our belt, but now that we have begun to overcome it, our personal accounts do not reflect it. The economic improvement that our country experiences should translate into a savings growth, however, as of today, we have only accumulated 6% of our income, what is the reason? Are we doing something wrong? Why are the figures so low?
Retirement, for some people it is really close and, for others, still very distant, is always a matter of concern. Will we get to it with enough money in our accounts? This is one of the big questions that come to our mind at some point in our lives. Even more, if we consider, as the statistics reveal, that we are not good at saving –we have been steadily declining since 2014–. Spaniards have never been big investors, nor good savers. How can these symptoms affect our economy health?
Do we live above our possibilities?
The crisis years were also economic moderation times. Consumption decreased and savings became a priority. In 2009, we reached the record of 13.4% in the savings on disposable income. Us, Spaniards change the course of our personal finances now that the first beams of light after the storm are visible. According to Funcas, consumption is increasing at a rate of 2.7% from the past year, meanwhile the incomes have only increased by 1.5% in real terms.
The economic recovery expectations have had an impact on the increase in consumption – especially, in durable goods–. Consumers are now meeting the needs that in the crisis years they could not satisfy. That washing machine that did not work well, is replaced. They change the clothes line for a dryer. They park the bicycle and the bus to invest in a new car or buy a second hand one. The most daring people sign a mortgage and drop out the renting system. A new formula governs the Spanish economy: to greater economic growth, greater consumption; lower savings.
A hasty reading of the figures may lead us to conclude that well-known phrase of "we live above our possibilities". It is also true that the Spanish society is still paying for the broken dishes of the crisis, like the consequences of indebtedness. With a minimal wage growth and the moderation satiety in consumption, the population see the economic recovery as a relief. Although it is not reflected in its accounts, it does reflect in the rise of its expenses and the payment of its debts.