Belgian collective wealth increased by €9.3 billion in the last quarter of 2009, according to figures from the National Bank, bringing the total wealth to €715.4 billion.
The increase was largely due to more money in savings, the investment of choice for Belgians in the middle of a crisis and in large part a substitute for spending. While Belgians saved €10.7 billion more in the last quarter, they put less money into current accounts and fixed-term investments. The preference for saving over spending depressed demand in the economy as a whole, leading to problems for consumer businessses.
A smaller part of the increase was due to the rise in share prices. An increase of €2.5 billion on the value of the stock market brought total gains in wealth to €13.2 billion and total holdings to €900 billion.
However, debts also rose in the final quarter by €3.9 billion to €184.6 billion. The biggest increase was in mortgages.
Source: Flanders Today