Household financial savings were 10.4 per cent of GDP in the second quarter ended September of 2020-21 and 21 per cent in the June quarter.
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With Covid playing havoc, financial savings of households, especially bank deposits and equity investments, are on the decline. The Reserve Bank of India’s preliminary estimate of household financial savings is at 8.2 per cent of GDP in the third quarter of 2020-21, exhibiting a sequential moderation for the second consecutive quarter after having spiked in the pandemic-hit first quarter of 2020-21.
Household financial savings were 10.4 per cent of GDP in the second quarter ended September of 2020-21 and 21 per cent in the June quarter. In absolute terms, net financial assets of households fell to Rs 444,583 crore in the December quarter of 2020-21 from Rs 491,906 crore in the September quarter and Rs 815,886 crore in the June quarter, as per RBI.
“The ratio of household (bank) deposits to GDP declined to 3.0 per cent in the December quarter of 2020-21 from 7.7 per cent in the previous quarter,” the RBI said. In absolute numbers, household deposits fell from Rs 367,264 crore in September to Rs 173,042 crore in December 2020.
On the other hand, currency with the households showed fluctuations with the amount falling from Rs 2,06,889 crore in June 2020 to Rs 17,225 crore in September, and recovering partially to Rs 91,456 crore in December. Equity assets fell from Rs 18,599 crore in June to Rs 8,291 crore in September and Rs 5,307 crore in December, according to the RBI data.
“The moderation was driven by a significant weakening in the flow of household financial assets, which more than offset the moderation in the flow of household financial liabilities,” the RBI said. Financial liabilities of households fell to Rs 2,48,418 crore in December from Rs 2,54,912 crore in September. “Despite higher borrowings from banks and housing finance companies, flow in household financial liabilities was marginally lower in December quarter of 2020-21 following a marked decline in borrowings from NBFCs, it said.
Household debt to GDP ratio, which is based on select financial instruments, has been increasing steadily since end-March 2019.
A Credit Suisse report said in 2020, total wealth fell in India by $594 billion, or 4.4 per cent in percentage terms.
“Of the household savings, a significant portion, around 41 per cent is in financial savings. With the onset of pandemic and subsequent lockdown, household financial savings had initially showed a significant jump in Q1 FY21, and then a sharp moderation in Q2 FY21,” said Soumya Kanti Ghosh, group chief economic adviser, State Bank of India. However, the data shows that currency in circulation again increased in Q3 and Q4 FY21. Furthermore, the markets have progressively improved with Sensex increasing from 28,265 at the beginning of April 2020 to above 52,000 now.
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