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Central bank: Germans richer than ever

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Central bank: Germans richer than ever
Photo: DPA
07:32 CEST+02:00
The Germans are richer than ever before, new figures on private assets released this week show – with more than €4.5 trillion stashed in savings accounts, shares and even cash last year.

The German Central Bank (Bundesbank) said on Thursday that the stable jobs market had helped Germans put away an additional €149 billion last year to create the record total of €4.715 trillion in private holdings - and that sum does not include property.

Germans have been steadily increasing their monetary assets for decades – apart from certain crisis years such as the Lehman bankruptcy and accompanying global financial crisis in 2008, the bank said.

Private monetary assets added up to €1.751 trillion shortly after reunification in 1990, and broke the €4 trillion mark by 2005.

The lion's share of asset growth was put in banks, the new figures show, with an increase of €67 billion more put into accounts last year than the year before.

Fixed term deposits were up again for the first time since 2008, with an increase of €18 billion – a growth the Bundesbank said was due to the difference in interest rates between them and the deposits on daily rates.

Shares were also more attractive to investors, with an increase of €14 billion put on stocks in 2011 compared with the previous year.

Apart from banks, Germans seem to trust insurance policies, which account for nearly €1.4 trillion of their private assets. Life insurance grew in 2011 by €48 billion.

But private debt grew alongside private fortunes – particularly due to money borrowed to buy property, which rose by €21 billion to reach €1.55 trillion last year. This was less than the national debt, which was around €2 trillion.

DPA/The Local/hc

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