Greece has the lowest savings rate among the 28 European Union member-states, as households and corporations are struggling under the burden of salary reductions, excessive taxation and various other heavy financial demands.
Households in particular have a negative savings balance of 11.6 billion euros, meaning they are consuming more than their disposable income, Hellenic Statistical Authority figures processed by Eurobank show.
The savings rate in Greece comes to just 9 percent of the country’s gross domestic product, against an average of 22.6 percent in the EU and 23.9 percent in the eurozone.
Although consumption levels were also above earnings before the outbreak of the crisis, the low savings rate is not due to an extravagant lifestyle but rather because Greeks are using their savings to cover daily expenses and meet their ever-growing direct and indirect tax obligations. At the same time Spain had a 22.5 percent rate and Portugal 16 percent.