The Slovenia Times

Statistics show Slovenians thrifty nation


Data from the central bank show that Slovenian households had a total of EUR 41.4bn in financial assets at the end of June, up EUR 2bn year-on-year.

Around 50% of these assets, that is to say around EUR 20bn, were in cash or bank deposits, while a quarter was invested in securities and other forms of equity capital, followed by insurance and pension schemes.

One of the favourite types of long-term investment in Slovenia is real-estate, with the households currently owning around EUR 40bn in properties.

Karmen Hren, the deputy director general of the Statistics Office, has attributed Slovenians' aversion to high-risk forms of saving to experience from the economic and financial crisis.

However, investment trends are turning around but slowly. Slovenia's two largest banks, NLB and NKBM, have both perceived a shift in the habits of their clients recently. Due to low interest rates for deposits, Slovenians are slowly starting to diversify their assets.

According to data from the Statistics Office, Slovenians' thriftiness peaked ten years ago, when they set aside as much as 16% of their disposable income. Then it started falling and hit bottom in 2012 before turning around again in 2013 to reach the mentioned 12.8% in 2016.

There are substantial differences between households. While the poorest households have to borrow money to get through the month, the other side of the table, the richest households, put aside up to 40% of their disposable income.

"All the others are somewhere in between: they don't save much, but they don't have to take out loans to cover day-to-day expenses," Hren told a press conference in Ljubljana on Friday.

She also noted that Slovenians mostly put aside money "to secure our financial safety and independence". According to statistics, Slovenians are saving money to be used later, mainly for major purchases and investment, as well as for unforeseen expenses, old age and children.

Slovenians' thriftiness is also corroborated by their indebtedness: despite favourable financing conditions, the total debt of households has persisted at around EUR 13bn for the past three years.

The Statistics Office released the latest data ahead of World Savings Day. It was first observed on 31 October 1924 to promote saving worldwide and bring to mind its relevance to the economy and the individual.


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