Germans More Willing to add Debt

While Chancellor Angela Merkel’s focus on careful spending as a cure for the euro zone’s debt problems has made her popular at home, German consumers are borrowing more to finance everything from furniture to cars.

Germans, traditionally a nation of debt-averse savers, took out an average of 8,700 euros ($9,650) in loans last year – a rise of around 10 percent compared with 2013, according to Schufa, Germany’s main credit bureau.

With borrowing expected rise again this year, that marks a significant shift in a country where the thrifty southwestern ‘Swabian housewife’ has been held up as a model and a strong dislike of borrowing is rooted in the language. ‘Schuld’, the word for debt, also means guilt.

During the euro zone crisis, Merkel and her government have extolled the virtues of budget discipline over loading up on debt to finance stimulus, with her Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble currently playing hardball over Greece’s attempts to secure a third bailout in exchange for economic reforms.

via Reuters

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Alfonso Esparza

Alfonso Esparza

Senior Currency Analyst at Market Pulse
Alfonso Esparza specializes in macro forex strategies for North American and major currency pairs. Upon joining OANDA in 2007, Alfonso Esparza established the MarketPulseFX blog and he has since written extensively about central banks and global economic and political trends. Alfonso has also worked as a professional currency trader focused on North America and emerging markets. He has been published by The MarketWatch, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and The Globe and Mail, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on networks including Bloomberg and BNN. He holds a finance degree from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) and an MBA with a specialization on financial engineering and marketing from the University of Toronto.
Alfonso Esparza