Central bank: Deposits have increased by 16 percent in year
Data from the Bank of Estonia (Eesti Pank) shows €112 million on average has been deposited per month over the last year meaning deposits have increased by 16 percent.
"Before the first restrictions in March 2020, the monthly increase in deposits was on average, two times smaller," the economist of Eesti Pank, Raido Kraavik, said.
In February, Estonians had €9.6 billion deposited in banks.
Although the ability to save by people who have lost jobs has been affected, the rapid growth of deposits is still to be expected in difficult economic times. "The uncertain economic situation generally makes people more cautious and motivates them to save in case their income is lost. This will postpone larger purchases," Kraavik explained.
Kraavik said the corona restrictions have also led to forced savings: travel, entertainment and shopping have been more difficult or impossible over the past year.
Household deposits increased significantly last spring during the first corona restrictions. "In the summer, economic activity recovered quickly and at that time deposits did not differ significantly from previous years. However, since the end of last year, deposits have quickly increased again," said the economist.
In addition to corona restrictions, one-off factors have increased deposits.
"For example, many people who have reached or will soon reach retirement age used the more favorable opportunity created by the pension reform to receive a one-time payment from the funds. If pension money collected from the second pillar is paid out in September, bank deposits can also be expected to increase," Kraavik.
Kraavik said deposits by Estonian companies have also grown rapidly - by almost 24 percent in a year to a total of €8.7 billion
Deposits of both households and companies have grown significantly in other European Union countries as well.
"Estonia's growth has been faster than average. This has helped increase buffers to survive the difficult economic situation. Increased deposits may also lead to a faster recovery in economic activity as corona restrictions and general uncertainty decrease," he said.
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Editor: Roberta Vaino