The desire for safe savings is growing, BTPs are rising


By John

Government bonds are returning to the hearts of Italian savers who aim for safe, good-yielding and simple products in times of high inflation and rising rates while the preference for bricks and mortar declines and the share of those who maintain liquidity in their current accounts remains high. The traditional Acri survey with Ipsos in view of the savings day on 31 October, in which the Minister of Economy will also participate Giancarlo Giorgetti, the president of the Abi Antonio Patuelli and the governor Ignazio Visco, as his last appointment at the end of his mandate, he photographs a “cautious optimism” among Italians, with an “addiction” and ability to adapt to high prices and a greater satisfaction with their economic situation.

The increase in employment, a certain ability to limit the effect of inflation with greater care without completely giving up superfluous expenses, has a positive effect and also increases the ability to save. In short, once the euphoria of 2021 post-Covid and the disappointment of 2022 due to the war in Ukraine and the flare-up of inflation followed by the ECB’s series of increases were over, savers have started to catch their breath again. In fact, the study reports «a modest improvement in the standard of living of families, which returns to pre-pandemic levels” while highlighting how families in severe economic difficulty are decreasing compared to 2022 and those who have recorded a better maintenance of living standards are growing compared to the same year. This is accompanied by less dissatisfaction: the share of those who appear to be in serious difficulty drops from 17% to 14%.

And the general feeling of those who manage to save is that of a search for safe and well-performing products. 36% of the sample declares they will invest part of their savings compared to 34% in 2022 and the share of those who want safer instruments goes from 23 to 38% with a notable leap. Not by chance the Mef has drained a lot of liquidity from savers in recent months with the launch of value BTPs (which also benefit from preferential taxation) while banks have changed their offer by offering higher yield and less complex products. And yet, the survey warns, the habit of keeping resources in the current account has not disappeared: «the propensity to spend money or keep it available in the current account concerns 62% of Italians (it was 63% in 2022 and 61% in 2021)”.

However, interest in ESG products for environmental and social purposes is declining. Compared to other forms of investment, primarily government bonds, these suffer from a lower perception of the solidity of the proposer and a lower clarity of the proposal. Then there is a youth theme. The survey shows them to be more optimistic about their future economic situation, more interested in improving financial skills (Italy is among the last in financial literacy), attentive to the ecological transition, more socially engaged and with greater trust in the Union Europe where the older classes are more skeptical and shaken by the effects of the ECB rate increases.

But the majority of young people in the sample still have one dominant concern: job stability. Only a quarter of young people feel fully economically autonomous but few of them aged between 18 and 30, just 17% compared to 19% of the total, have subscribed to a pension or supplementary fund. The main reasons for the lack of choice are “other priorities” and the feeling that it is “too soon”.