NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Americans: Investors As Well As Savers

December 31, 1997

Economists have noted for many years that Americans don't save as much of their disposable income as workers in many other countries do -- the Japanese, for example. But when other relevant factors are considered, the U.S. savings rate looks considerably better than the 5 percent currently being reported.

  • When business savings are included and the government deficit subtracted, total national savings rise to 15 percent of GDP in the U.S.
  • Moreover, the U.S. investment rate stands at 16 percent.
  • That is still roughly only half the savings and investment rates of the Japanese -- 31 percent and 29 percent respectively.

Source: Ed Rubenstein, "Right Data," National Review, December 31, 1997.


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