People in Germany are getting richer, despite the sluggish economy and persistent low interest rates for savers. At the end of the third quarter of 2019, households had a total of EUR 6.30 trillion in financial assets like never before, as data from the Bundesbank show. This is an increase of 67 billion euros compared to the second quarter. Price increases for shares and fund shares also contributed to this.
However, wealth is still very unevenly distributed: the richest ten percent of the population own more than half of the total wealth. In contrast, the poorer half of the population owns only 1.3 percent of the total wealth.
The Germans continue to rely on security for their investments. "The preference for liquid or low-risk forms of investment thus continued," said the Bundesbank. Exposure to cash and sight deposits - that is, short-term money - increased by EUR 26 billion. Claims against insurance companies increased by EUR 13 billion, which is slightly less growth than in the previous quarters. Their investments in savings bonds and savings deposits reduced households by four billion euros in view of the low interest rates.
By contrast, stocks and investment funds remained popular. Households expanded their commitments by around ten billion euros, as in the two previous quarters.
Households are also taking advantage of the persistent low interest rates to obtain cheap loans from banks. As in previous quarters, there was a particular demand for housing loans. Overall, household liabilities increased by around EUR 25 billion to EUR 1.861 trillion in the third quarter.