Hopeless

I see this graph in Twitter, shared by @StephanieKelton , comparing savings rate and unemployment rate in the US:

I interpret this correlation between both variables as people increasing their efforts to save when they observe things are going bad in the economy (and a rising unemployment is indeed an evidence for that). In Spain there is a saying that goes “si las barbas de tu vecino ves cortar, pon las tuyas a remojar” (“if you see your neighbor’s beard cut, put yours to soak”) which not literally, it would be similar to “if you want peace, prepare for war”. This correlation would be a good evidence for that behavior.

However, when I search for similar data in Spain I get this:

I found data only until year 2001, but there is clear evidence that savings and unemployment rate were correlated between 2001 and 2010. In particular, Spaniards were able to increase their savings rate between 2008 and 2010 in evidence of the worst economic depression in Spain in terms of unemployment. Additionally, there is a clear decoupling since 2010 onwards, too. The economic policy implemented, based on public spending cuts, tax increases, wage cuts and other austerity measures made households’ savings rate fall back to a minimum level of 10%. However, the economic policy was not successful in terms of solving economic stagnation. Rather than that, unemployment rate continued to increase, making the pair ‘low savings – high unemployment’ a dire one for middle and lower classes.

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