In the last thirty years, more and more Dutch consumers have been thinking more positively about putting money into savings accounts. Together with Denmark and Luxembourg, the Netherlands is now one of the EU countries with the most positive attitude towards saving.
Opinions on saving unaffected by the economy
A downturn in the economy has a negative effect on the expected saving behaviour of consumers. This effect was clearly visible in the early 1980s and in the first years of the new millennium.
Economic developments do not appear to have an effect on the increasingly positive opinion about the use of saving, however. In the second quarter of 2008, 81 percent of Dutch consumers thought it was worthwhile to put money in savings accounts. On the other hand, 15 percent of consumers said that saving was not worthwhile at that point in time. This put the difference between the percentage of positive minus the percentage of negative answers at 66. Thirty years ago this difference was only 14.
Opinions on saving
Age and income main factors
Consumers aged 18 to 35 years were most positive about the use of saving in the period January 2002 to May 2008. This positive attitude diminishes as age rises. Other demographic and socio-economic characteristics correlate less with the positive attitude to the use of saving.
Expected saving behaviour depends mainly on the level of income. Consumers with a low income, for example, were mostly negative about their possibilities to save money, while those with higher incomes were very positive. Other characteristics were less significant.
Opinions on the use of saving, January 2002-May 2008
Dutch relatively positive within Europe
Compared with other European countries, the Dutch are very positive about the use of saving. In the period from the beginning of 2002 to May 2008 only the Danes were more positive than the Dutch.
In countries where consumers felt more negatively about saving, inflation was above the European average in this period. The only exceptions were Ireland, Luxembourg, Poland and Belgium.
Opinions in Europe on the use of saving, January 2002-May 2008