One Year In: Did People Save More or Less During the Pandemic?

savings during pandemic
March 12, 2021. by
One Year In: Did People Save More or Less During the Pandemic?

One Year In: A Look at Saving Rates During the Pandemic

While working hours were reduced across the globe and many lost their jobs entirely, personal saving rates actually increased throughout the pandemic in many countries. One Year In: Did People Save More or Less During the Pandemic?

A personal saving rate is calculated as the ratio of personal saving to disposable personal income. Here’s a look at the U.S.’ personal saving rate over 2020.

DateU.S. Savings Rate
January 20207.6%
February 20208.3%
March 202012.9%
April 202033.7%
May 202024.7%
June 202019.0%
July 202018.4%
DateU.S. Savings Rate
August 202014.6%
September 202014.1%
October 202013.2%
November 202012.5%
December 202013.4%
January 202120.5%

The U.S.’ personal saving rate skyrocketed in April to more than 30%. After a dip near the end of 2020, the rate has jumped back up again to around 20% in January 2021.

With the most recent data from September 2020, many European countries’ savings rates were up, as well—the highest rate occurred in the Netherlands at 24%. Japan and the UK followed a similar trend as well, at 22% and 28% respectively.

One Year In: Did People Save More or Less During the Pandemic? The Pandemic Piggy Bank

Personal saving rates tend to increase during recessions and, more generally, either increase because of reduced consumption or a boost in income.

Without the same access to restaurants, shopping, and travel, it is somewhat unsurprising that a trend of increased saving rates occurred.

In the U.S., many have been putting a larger share of their disposable income into their savings as a precautionary measure. Additionally, while income has likely not increased in most cases, stimulus payments from the government have become much more widespread.

what drove the savings surge

Overall, the typical saving rates have not changed; what has driven up the country’s rates has been prudence and government checks. Whether or not this will influence future consumption or will continue a trend of increasingly large nest eggs, however, has yet to be determined. One Year In: Did People Save More or Less During the Pandemic?

The U.S. will likely see an increased inflow of government support, as Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus package has recently passed in Congress.

Where does this data come from?

SourceFREDOffice for National StatisticsEuroStat, Visual Capitalist and the Economic and Social Research Institute
Details: The date of most recent, available data varied on a country by country basis, with the earliest date being September 2020 and the most recent being January 2021.