Ultralow Rates Hit Italians’ Incomes More Than Germans, Says ECB

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Italian households suffered a much larger loss of income than their German counterparts due to the European Central Bank’s ultralow interest rates, according to an ECB report that appears to dispel some German concerns over the bank’s easy-money policies, The Wall Street Journal reported. German officials have frequently criticized the ECB for hurting the nation’s savers and subsidizing highly-indebted households in southern Europe by introducing low interest rates. However, German households have been relatively unaffected by the impact of low rates on their earnings from interest-bearing assets, according to an ECB report published Wednesday, which covered the period between 2008 and 2017. That is because lower German earnings from assets such as bonds and savings accounts were almost entirely offset by lower interest payments on debt, the ECB said. Read more. (Subscription required.)