Households in the United States and the United Kingdom aren’t putting as much money away for a rainy day and that could mean trouble.
Albert Edwards, a strategist at Societe Generale, pointed out in a note Thursday that saving rates in the both countries have steeply fallen recently. In the U.S., the household savings ratio has fallen to 3.8 percent on a net basis, it’s lowest since the Great Recession, and to about 7 percent on a gross basis. In the UK, meanwhile, the savings ratio has slumped to 1.9 percent on a gross basis.
Edwards illustrates the savings-rate downfall in the chart below, comparing both the U.S. and UK rates:
“This was last seen in 2007, just before the bursting debt bubble blew the global economy and financial system to smithereens,” Edwards said, referring to the 2008 financial crisis.
The monthly ratio is savings as a percentage of disposable income.
The crisis sent financial markets across the globe into a tailspin and global central banks scrambling to stop the bleeding. It was then that the Federal Reserve and the Bank of England, along with other major central banks, introduced stimulative measures such as quantitative easing.