Families in the Balearics are very thrifty, according to a new report, which says that they are the biggest savers in the country, banking more than 14 per cent of available income. They are followed by La Rioja, Aragon, Navarra, Cantabria and the Basque country. The report, from the Confederated Savings Banks Foundation, says that Spanish families have saved 7.75 billion pesetas this year, an increase of only 1.4 per cent over last year, even though available income rose by 5.7 per cent to 70.91 billion pesetas. The banks also say that Spanish families are more likely to invest in stocks and shares, claiming that 51 per cent operate on the stock exchange compared to only 30.5 per cent in the United States and 21.6 per cent in Germany. The profile of the biggest saver is aged 18 to 34, with higher education and a job and 61 per cent will be male. The report was launched on Universal Savings Day, and called on the government to stimulate family saving by fiscal policies and greater stability of prices. But despite the report, a large number of families cannot make ends meet. And if you study the scene at banks, you are more likely to see people making withdrawals, rather than deposits. Particularly at this time of year, when the Christmas campaign to spend, spend, spend is just getting into gear.

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