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Are poor Germans supporting rich Spaniards?

Brian Sturgess, Brian Sturgess - April 2013

Speed Read
  • A recent European Central Bank survey shows large differences in average net assets per household across the euro area from a median figure of €51,400 in Germany to €397,800 in Luxembourg.
  • The prime real asset held by European households is residential real estate and a large part of the cross-country differences can be explained by differences in national home ownership rates and in the dynamics of house prices.
  • The wealth disparities between Germany, and the financially strained countries, imply a ‘poorer’ north is supporting a relatively richer south threatening the euro’s stability.

German households: among Europe’s poorest?

The European Central Bank (ECB) has published a survey of household wealth across the euro area which provides further evidence of the enormous economic imbalances existing across the currency area. The survey  [1] of 15 euro area countries based on a sample of more than 62,000 households indicates that German households had the lowest level of median net wealth at €51,400 among the countries surveyed. The survey, which had a reference year of 2010, also shows that the medi...

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