Households and companies have again used savings to meet their daily needs and, at the same time, continue to look for other options to make the savings accumulated since the pandemic profitable. The cut of money that was accumulated in deposits and checking accounts has fallen by more than 18,000 million euros between January and February, which is the highest bimonthly drop since the great financial crisis, according to the Bank of Spain.
At the end of February, the Spanish had some 986,000 million euros saved in the banks through these products, compared to the trillion at the end of 2022. Already in the first month of the year, in January, the withdrawal of money from the bank represented a decrease of 13,000 million euros, from the record accumulated in these products at the end of 2022. It coincided with the fever unleashed in the first weeks of 2023 by public debt and letters by individual and minority savers. In February, this downward trend continued with another 5,000 million less in traditional banking savings products.
The economic and financial reality is modifying the amount saved in deposits with large movements that are taking money away from this savings option. On the one hand, the outflow of funds is explained by the bleeding that the shopping basket is causing in family and company budgets. The costs they assume on a day-to-day basis are increasingly higher, with inflation still close to 6% in year-on-year terms (last August it peaked at 10%), and with underlying inflation close to 8%. .
This rise in prices is leaving a dent in households, whose savings rate fell by 3.2% of their disposable income in the third quarter of 2022, according to the latest updated data from the INE. The data represents a variation of negative 9.6 percentage points compared to the previous quarter.
On the other hand, citizens are also mobilized to look for other products that, beyond the classic deposits, can offer them a return in line with the new interest rates, which are already at 3.5% in the euro zone after the last authorized rise of the ECB. For now, deposits are remunerated at 0.06%.
Letters and investment funds
In these circumstances, Treasury bills have become the investment star at the beginning of 2023. Their price has accurately reflected the rise in interest rates by offering a return of close to 3%. In reality, it is a product with which its holder obtains an attractive return, at the same time that it allows the State to finance itself. In addition, the risk is minimal, since being guaranteed by the Treasury, the possibility of Spain bankruptcy is remote. For 1,000 euros invested in this asset, you will get 30 euros one year ahead.
In addition, during the last months in which the ECB has authorized various rate increases, from the 0% in which they were in July, the banks have reactivated their commercial policies to encourage money subscriptions from deposits to products such as Guaranteed investment funds, many linked to the sovereign debt of Spain and other countries such as Italy, promoting this option to which a part of savers have joined.
The volume of assets of the funds increased by 1,586 million euros in February, up to 319,198 million, according to Inverco. In the first two months of the year, the funds experienced an increase of 13,000 million.
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