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Analysis of savings trends: Citizens’ deposits in Serbia reach record levels

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In late February, the collective savings of citizens in both local and foreign currencies reached a significant milestone, totaling 1.75 trillion dinars, as per the latest Statistical Bulletin released by the National Bank of Serbia (NBS). Among these savings, dinar deposits accounted for 144.8 billion dinars, while foreign currency deposits amounted to 1,605 billion dinars.

Regarding interest rates, banks offered varying rates between 4.45% and 5.34% for newly approved dinar deposits, depending on the duration of the deposit, and between 2.2% and 3.19% for foreign currency deposits. On average, there was a slight decrease in interest rates for both dinar and foreign currency deposits. For instance, in February, interest rates for dinar deposits ranged from 4.73% for savings up to one year to 4.45% for deposits exceeding two years, resulting in an average rate of approximately 4.85%.

Comparing this with January figures, the interest rates were slightly more favorable then, with rates ranging from 5.01% for deposits up to one year to 5.03% on average. Notably, the most significant difference was observed in deposits of up to one year, with a decrease of 0.28 percentage points compared to January.

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Similarly, interest rates for foreign currency deposits followed a downward trend, with average rates falling from 3.44% in January to 3.17% in February. For deposits up to one year, the interest rate dropped to 3.19% from January’s 3.40%.

The NBS highlighted the record levels of dinar savings, reaching 136.5 billion dinars by the end of December 2023. Factors contributing to this include the relative stability of the dinar against the euro, higher interest rates on dinar savings compared to foreign currency savings, and favorable tax treatment of dinar savings.

In contrast, deposits from the economy saw a decline, with figures dropping from 291 billion dinars at the end of 2023 to 272.4 billion dinars in February 2024.

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