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Old Age Worries Drive Germans to Save

Germany's Deutsche Bank said Monday that despite largely stagnant net wages, Germans are increasingly putting aside their money in savings. Private households saved 10.9 percent of their disposable incomes in the first quarter of 2004 as against 10.6 percent in the same period last year. Deutsche Bank traced the increase in savings to greater attempts by Germans to make private old-age provisions. The savings ratio was just 10.1 percent in 2001. "As long as economic conditions don't get better and the fear of unemployment persists, the savings ratio will not fall," said Deutsche Bank economist Stefan Bielmeier. Deutsche Bank blamed Germans' increasing tendency to save for sluggish private consumption that in turn was throttling economic recovery. Net wages in the first quarter of 2004 increased by just 0.1 percent as compared to last year, while disposable incomes grew by 0.3 percent.