Covid Hits Saving Capacity of More than Half of Global Consumers

Research in 18 nations by YouGov punctures the idea that households have a cushion against a deepening cost of living crisis

Shoppers wear protective face masks on Kurfrstendamm, in Berlin.
By David Goodman
June 20, 2022 | 09:16 AM

Bloomberg — More than half of consumers in major economies didn’t build up their savings during the pandemic, a survey shows.

The research in 18 nations by YouGov Plc, shared exclusively with Bloomberg News. punctures the idea that households have a cushion against a deepening cost of living crisis.

YouGov said 51% of respondents failed to add to their savings during the pandemic. The rate was lowest for Germany, at 39%, while Italy’s figure was just 40%. The US, UK and Canada also saw results below 50%.

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The survey covers 20,000 adults across 18 countries and undercuts hopes that a global savings glut will help households weather a spike in inflation. Instead, it paints an uneven picture of finances, potentially paving the way for deepening inequality in coming months.


YouGov’s survey also suggests the nest eggs that did accumulate are rarely being spent on luxury items. Of those who saved, about half are managing to hold onto the extra money. More than a quarter spent the money on bills or other essential purchases.

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Just 13% used them to fund holidays and social events since restrictions lifted, and 19% used the money for home improvements or moving house.