The good news and the bad news – not to mention the bad news – should be highlighted this week, also marked by the National Institute of Statistics’ release of second-quarter national accounts.
On the positive side, what was reported by the newspaper “Público” that the savings applied by the Portuguese in deposits, funds and certificates doubled in the pandemic and amounted to 22.736 billion last July, which is an amount higher than the same period in 2018/2019.
Although this outcome should be seen as the result of negative conditions, such as the shutdown of trade and services during periods of confinement and citizens’ fear in the face of uncertain economic scenarios, I believe we must see the good. Part of this circumstance that led to the household saving rate reaching its highest value in this century.
A very recent study by the European Central Bank entitled “The Effects of Savings Accumulated During the Pandemic on the Global Economic Outlook” which analyzes the observed behavior in the economies of the United States, the United Kingdom and Japan, economists Maria Grazia Atenasi, Alina Bobasso and Anna Simona Manu presents several possible scenarios for the fate of these savings caused by epidemic.
Concluding that the pace of recovery will depend to a large extent on the households, henceforth expanding the saving habits of their investments or, in the opposite direction, redirecting part of their savings to consumption. In the Portuguese case, the ideal would be that savings, even if they fall thanks to the ending of restrictions and a return to consumption, remain in line with the European average.
As for the bad news, I must express my sadness at the results of the Intercampus survey published by “Correio da Manhã”, which reveals a deep distrust of the majority of the Portuguese people in the transformation ability of the PRR, with over 60% of Respondents are of the opinion that money “favors to benefit relations with political power” rather than the real economy, with only 3% declaring that the so-called European bazooka would benefit the Portuguese. .
This skepticism, exacerbated by doubts about the ability to implement the PRR system expressed by 46.7% of respondents, shows that there is a notorious skepticism among citizens about the efficiency of the distribution of public funds.
Thus, what emerges from this survey is that, again, it is indispensable for an adequate and continuous PRR examination to be carried out over the next few years, not only for obvious reasons of transparency but also because it is necessary to stop the erosion of Portuguese trust in their officials and institutions Elected, under penalty of continuing to undermine our entire democracy.
As this newspaper reports, at the end of three weekends dedicated to vaccinating young people between the ages of 12 and 17, 75% of this age group had already received at least one dose. Last weekend, between August 28 and 29, 86,000 young people were vaccinated. This is news that we should be happy about and that allows us to face the reopening of our economic activity with optimism.
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