Households continue to be prudent in their choices of financial savings. During the fourth quarter last year households chose safer savings in the form of bank deposits and investments in bond and money market funds. Despite the positive stock market trend, savings in shares and equity funds decreased.
The financial wealth of households, i.e. financial assets minus liabilities, amounted to SEK 3 536 billion at the end of the year. This is an increase of SEK 133 billion during the fourth quarter of 2011. The Stockholm Stock Exchange rose 8.4 percent during the fourth quarter according to Affärsvärlden's general index. The positive stock market development strongly contributed to a partial recovery in wealth, of which parts were lost earlier in the year.
Despite the positive stock market development, households continued to be cautious. Possible reasons for this behaviour could have been the negative news about the European debt crisis, an uncertain housing market and the risk of a worsening labour market. Households continued to make net sales, purchases minus sales, of swedish shares and equity funds for SEK 3 billion in the fourth quarter. Net sales amounted to a total of SEK 28 billion in 2011.
Instead of shares, households chose safer savings forms such as bank deposits and short-term interest funds. Households' net purchases of short-term interest funds amounted to SEK 0.7 billion. This is the largest singlemost quarterly information noted since the fourth quarter of 2008.