Covid-19 pandemic has increased savings in EU countries. Freezing activity in most economies was associated with limited access to consumer goods and services. As a result, the savings rate increased from 12.6 to 25 percent in the second quarter of 2020. The indicator remained high also in the third quarter of 2020. In Poland, the savings rate increased from 1.7 to 18.2 percent in the second quarter of 2020. However, in the next quarter, it returned to the level of 6 percent.
Compared to other EU countries, the increase in the savings rate in Poland was low and short-lived. Although the restrictions introduced in the country were similar to those in other European countries, they had a much smaller impact on financial decisions.
There is no such tendency in other EU countries. Households in the EU report only a deterioration in the assessment of their financial situation. However, they definitely positively assess their current savings.
Poles' financial decisions are influenced by the fear of inflation and the loss of value of accumulated funds. Inflation in Poland is the highest among the EU countries – the HICP index, i.e. the harmonized index of consumer prices, reached 4.4 percent in March. The index is inflated by the way Eurostat calculates the price of financial services. However, the domestic CPI inflation index is also high: in April it reached 4.3 percent according to the Central Statistical Office (GUS). This means a much lower level of real interest rates than in the euro area countries.
With high inflation and low-interest rates on deposits, the purchasing power of Poles' savings decreases faster than in other EU countries.