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Savings behaviour in crisis and post-crisis times

8th SUERF & UniCredit Foundation Research Prize and Workshop

Savings behaviour in crisis and post-crisis times

Date:   22 April 2021
Time:  13:30-16:30
Venue: Cisco Webex Events

The Global Financial Crisis and COVID-19 crisis have, among many other things, also affected savings behaviour. Changes involve both aggregate household savings ratios, individual propensity to consume and to save, as well as portfolio choice. While the post-GFC and COVID-induced very low interest rates have likely reduced income motives for saving, crises put precautionary savings into the foreground. In the COVID-19 crisis, new attention was directed to savings motives, given the impossibility to consume, resulting in “forced savings”. The COVID-19 crisis also raises the question whether consumption and household savings behaviour will change more permanently, and beyond the time of the constraints imposed by the pandemic and related containment measures. Such changes would have important permanent consequences on aggregate demand, structural employment/unemployment, potential growth, the sectoral composition of output, the natural rate of interest and, as a result, the environment in which fiscal and monetary policies act.

Thursday, 22 April 2021
13:10 Online connection
13:30 Welcome & opening

Ernest Gnan, Head of Economic Analysis Division, OeNB and SUERF Secretary General

Opening Address
Pietro Carlo Padoan, Chairman of the UniCredit Group

Keynote Lecture: The Pandemic reset and its implications for household finances
Michael Haliassos, Chair of Macroeconomics and Finance, Goethe University Frankfurt

Presentation - pdfPresentation - pdf

14:30 8th SUERF UniCredit Foundation Award: Paper Presentations

Chair: Maurizio Beretta, Chairman, UniCredit Foundation

Paper 1: The Saving and Employment Effects of Higher Job Loss Risk
Ragnar Juelsrud & Ella Getz Wold, Norges Bank

Paper (pdf)

Presentation - pdfPresentation - pdf

Paper 2: The Great depression as a saving glut
Victor Degorce & Eric Monnet, PhD student at the EHESS | Paris School of Economics and EHESS CEPR Research affiliate
Presentation - pdfPresentation - pdf

15:00 Panel: COVID and savings behaviour: What lessons? Any lasting impact?

Moderator: Arne Holzhausen, Head of Insurance, Wealth and Trend Research, Allianz SE

COVID and savings behaviour: What lessons? Any lasting impact?
Stefan Gerlach, Chief Economist, EFG
Presentation - pdfPresentation - pdf

Household savings during the pandemic
Geoff Kenny, Head, Monetary Economics Section, DG Research, ECB
Presentation - pdfPresentation - pdf

The unprecedented changes in households’ and corporates’ savings during the pandemic
Erik Nielsen, Global Chief Economist, UniCredit Group
Presentation - pdfPresentation - pdf

Covid-19 and savings behavior: a few selected issues
Jorge Sicilia, Chief Economist, BBVA
Presentation - pdfPresentation - pdf

Savings behaviour in crisis and post-crisis times
Kurtulus T. Diamondopoulos, Director, Central Banks and Public Policy, World Gold Council
Presentation - pdfPresentation - pdf

Jens Ulbrich, Director, Deutsche Bundesbank

In this video, Arne Holzhausen, Allianz SE, Stefan Gerlach, EFG Bank, Geoff Kenny, ECB, Erik Nielsen, UniCredit Group, Jorge Sicilia, BBVA, Kurtulus T. Diamondopoulos, World Gold Council, and Jens Ulbrich, Deutsche Bundesbank, discuss what has been driving savings - and consumption - behavior during the COVID-19 crises, and how savings, consumption and the economic recovery might evolve going forward.

Savings rates (the share of savings in households" disposable income) have doubled in many countries during the COVID-19 pandemic, as a result of the impossibility to consume due to lockdowns and other containment measures, while households" and businesses" income losses were supported by government aid.

Will households, once the lockdowns will be over, reduce their savings rates back to pre-crisis levels? Will they seek to run down their stock of savings accumulated during the pandemic to pre-crisis levels? Will this leed to a spending spree and trigger a vigorous economic recovery? Or are higher savings here to stay, implying a lacklustre economic recovery? And how has portfolio choice been affected by the COVID and the very low risk-free interest rate? Will there be lasting changes, e.g. towards stocks and real estate?


16:30 End

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