Saving is a luxury that not all Belgians can afford, with fewer being able to put money aside since inflation has pumped up prices for basic goods. Nor has it been easy for the national treasury after the State dug deep to provide assistance, first during the pandemic and subsequently to help with mounting energy prices.
Could it be that one problem might provide an answer to the other? It's never quite so simple, but for those who do have money that is often devaluing in savings accounts with paltry interest rates, the issue of State bonds after a three-year hiatus might appeal. Even more so as the returns on 10-year bonds will now be 3% – still well below historic highs of around 10% in the 80s and 90s but attractive nonetheless for the steady yield.
Unlike other investments that often seem inaccessible to those with lower incomes (property is both practical and generally holds value), bonds are issued in smaller denominations that make them a more democratic way to invest. And though many have had to fall back on savings in the face of rising consumer costs, Belgian savings accounts are estimated to contain in excess of €300 billion.
Managing finances isn't everyone's forte and many give little thought to how to best use their earnings. If you'd like to know a bit more about bonds, see here.
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