Italian families living on rainy-day funds, study suggests

Savings plunge over 26% in four years

Italian families living on rainy-day funds, study suggests

(ANSA) - Venice, August 8 - Italian families appear to be living more and more on their savings, suggests a study released Wednesday by a group of craftsmen and small-business owners in the northeastern city of Mestre. The value of savings plunged by 26.4% between 2008 and 2011, while income levels remained stable, said the CGIA. This means that with less and less money to spend, struggling Italian families will not be able to afford the works of small traders and artisans, the study says. The group blames the recession and rising unemployment in Italy. Its study notes that between 2008 and 2011, family spending increased by 4%, reaching 962.6 billion euros while at the same time savings dropped by 93.5 billion euros. Disposable income remained essentially stable, rising by just 0.3%. Over the same period, inflation grew by 5.2%. Between 2001 and 2011, however, spending grew by 30.4%, savings fell by 16.5%, income grew 24.2% and inflation increased 24%. The data does not show which households have been hardest hit, notes Giuseppe Bortolussi, secretary of the CGIA. "However, those who suffer the effects of the crisis most are large families with minors, single-income families, and those who have unfortunately suffered the loss of employment," he said.

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