Absent another lockdown and furlough scheme, the household savings rate will fall next year, not rise:
Household savings are to soar next year as more than a third of people prepare to tighten their purse strings amid a surge in inflation, a Telegraph survey reveals.
It is possible for savings rates to rise in the face of inflation. Those who work to the lifetime income smoothing plan would rationally do so, there was some evidence of it happening in the 70s. I’ve got to save more now to pay for that retirement future because inflation.
But that it’s going to happen in 2022?
The latest evidence of consumer caution comes despite UK households amassing a £200bn war chest since the pandemic began as a succession of lockdowns curbed spending.
Philip Shaw, chief economist at Investec, said: “People are looking at the omicron variant and getting jitters over that, and aware that their utility bills are going to be increasing again next spring. In that context it is not surprising that people are saving more.
“I would be surprised if consumption managed to maintain the pace of the remarkable surge we’ve seen in 2021.”
Ah, no, consumption might well fall – or could do, – but that doesn’t mean savings will go up. That inflation, those taxes, have to come from somewhere.
I could believe that real retail spending will fall, possibly even real consumer spending, but would expect the savings rate to fall as well. After all, we’ve just come off a many decades high in that savings rate and we’d expect a decline in that anyway.