The correction on the stock markets – the DAX alone fell by almost 20% in 2018 – cost German households more than EUR 100bn or close to 2% of their total financial assets. However, the high savings efforts more than compensated for these losses: In the past year, fresh savings amounted to an estimated EUR 250 billion, a new record sum. This was due to the robust development of employment and income as well as increasing political uncertainty, which is likely to have contributed to a rising savings rate. At 10.3%, it was as high as it was ten years ago.
More than half of the new savings again benefited the banks. Given the weakness of the stock markets, this saving behavior may seem reasonable at first glance. But even there money is not "safe". With the rise in inflation, the return on bank deposits has now slipped sharply into negative territory and should be around -1.9% for 2018. In other words, this year alone savers have suffered losses of around EUR 45bn in purchasing power with bank deposits and cash. At this rate, the value of deposits will almost halve over the next 30 years. Especially in turbulent times, it is worth not losing sight of the long term.