Crisis has cost each of us €12,000, study says

Summary

Belgian households currently have the lowest assets in 20 years, according to a study by ING Bank. Because of the economic crisis, the gross national product has gone down by €120 billion, which represents a loss of €12,000 for every man, woman and child in the country between the summer of 2007 and March of this year.

Belgian households currently have the lowest assets in 20 years, according to a study by ING Bank. Because of the economic crisis, the gross national product has gone down by €120 billion, which represents a loss of €12,000 for every man, woman and child in the country between the summer of 2007 and March of this year.

By "assets" the study means cash, deposits, shares, fixed-rate bonds, investment funds and insurance products. Between 1992 (when records began) and the end of 2008, the value of the assets grew by 80% to €788 billion. At the same time, debt grew by 145%, reducing the net asset increase to €610 billion. The title of the study captures the spirit of the calculation: "Two lost decades for Belgian financial assets".

The damage done by the latest economic crisis, the study concludes, is worse than the effect of the bursting of the dot-com bubble in 2000. Then, the economy lost €113 billion, but this time around share prices have fallen twice as fast in relation to GDP.

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Crisis has cost each of us €12,000, study says

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