19 November 2021, by Victoria Séveno
The coronavirus pandemic had a significant and far-reaching impact on the way people lived, and the way people spent their money. With cinemas, restaurants, and shops closed, events cancelled, and holidays off the table, it seems that the people of the Netherlands saved 22 billion euros more than normal since the outbreak of COVID-19 last spring.
Instead of spending, the Dutch saved billions during the pandemic
Researchers at ING, the prominent Dutch bank, acknowledge that while many families were able to save a little extra during the pandemic, 71 percent of the savings accumulated over the last year and a half have been in the bank accounts of “richer households.”
ING economists attribute this to the fact that households could put away money that would typically be spent on small luxuries, like meals out with friends or family holidays, while households in a less fortunate position used their cash to pay outstanding bills.
Extra savings won’t mean much for the Netherlands’ economy
While this significant increase in financial wealth signifies hope for the future of the Dutch economy, experts say most of the savings accumulated over the past year won’t be spent any time soon. “Someone who has not been to a restaurant for a year does not suddenly go out to eat every day after such a lockdown period,” economists explained.
They calculate that only around 5,5 billion euros of the additional savings will be spent in the short term, and note that even in “normal” circumstances, Dutch people are generally less inclined to spend larger sums in short periods of time.