Household savings rates are unchanged or headed in the wrong direction. That is bad news for the euro area.

What does the chart show: The chart shows household savings rates as % of disposable income up to Q3 2012, by country.

Why is the chart interesting: Within the euro area, as globally, part of the cause of the Great Recession was an imbalance between excess savers and excess spenders. This needs to rebalance – spenders need to save more and savers need to spend more. But, the chart shows that savings in Spain and Italy are on a downward trend, whereas in Germany, France and the Netherlands they are broadly flat. This implies that the underlying problems in the euro area are far from solved.

Chart and comments provided by Stein Brothers (UK), www.steinbrothers.co.uk [3]