The pandemic has changed our habits. Instead of spending more than we earn, we started saving. This is indicated by Eurostat data. We have the second largest increase in the savings rate in Europe.
Despite lower interest rates on savings in banks, in the first quarter of 2020, i.e. at the very beginning of the epidemic in Poland, our savings rate increased by as much as 6.8 percentage points y/y. A greater change in savings habits was recorded only in Slovenia (+7.7 pp y/y). The third was Spain (+6.7 pp y/y).
A year ago, in the first quarter, we spent more than we earned. The savings rate was then negative and consumption went down 6.6 percent more than our disposable income. Now we have already left 0.19 percent on rainy day funds.
This is not much in the EU, because the Slovenes saved as much as 24.97 percent of revenues, and Germans 23.95 percent. But the trend is important. This one has changed dramatically over the year.
This is confirmed by NBP data. In February, savings in banks increased by PLN 10 billion, and in March by as much as PLN 14 billion. In the following months, despite a radical reduction in the MPC interest rates, and thus a drop in interest rates on bank deposits to an average of 0.2 percent annually (in February the average interest rate was 1.1 percent), we not only did not withdraw the funds, but also continued to increase them.
In the second quarter, current deposits of private individuals increased by as much as PLN 50 billion, but we were also withdrawing PLN 36 billion from term deposits. On balance, we increased our bank deposits by PLN 14 billion. A year ago, in the same period, the increase was only PLN 11 billion.