World Savings Day
Tuesday was World Savings Day. In the Czech Republic, individual savings in banks amount to 70 percent of GDP, which is comparable to less savings-oriented countries of the European Union. According to former Finance Minister and now chief economist at Raiffeisenbank, Pavel Mertlik, the Czech population is behaving very responsibly in this respect and the savings level is satisfactory when compared globally. It is much higher than in neighbouring Poland, for example, where individual savings amount to less than 37 percent of the GDP. On the other hand, in Germany, it is 112 percent. Mr. Mertlik said that while in the United States, people invest more in securities, the traditional way of depositing money in banks is prevalent in Europe. In his opinion the current economic trends encourage bank savings. While other countries find themselves in a difficult economic situation, the Czech economy keeps growing, consumer confidence is high and the volume of savings has been increasing, a trend expected to continue into 2002.