At the end of the fourth quarter of 2018, the financial assets of households in Germany stood at €6,016 billion. Compared with the third quarter of 2018, this represents a decrease of just over €28 billion.
General government debt in Germany was down in 2018 by €52 billion, amounting to €2.063 trillion at the end of the year. The debt ratio, meaning the ratio of debt to nominal gross domestic product (GDP), fell from 64.5% to 60.9%.
The Bundesbank posted a profit of €2.5 billion for the 2018 financial year. Following an allocation to the reserves, the Bundesbank transferred the remaining distributable profit of €2.4 billion in full to the Federal Ministry of Finance.
Cash is a quick and cheap means of payment in the German retail trade sector. On average, cash payments take just over 22 seconds and cost around 24 cent per transaction, according to a study on the costs of cash payments in the retail trade sector which the Deutsche Bundesbank carried out in cooperation with EHI Retail Institute.
In 2018, the Bundesbank registered approximately 58,000 counterfeit euro banknotes with a nominal value of €3.4 million, representing a 20% decrease year on year. Statistically, this equates to seven counterfeit banknotes per 10,000 inhabitants.
German banks made hardly any changes to their lending policies in the final quarter of 2018. Credit standards remained virtually constant in all three loan categories. At the same time, banks’ overall credit terms and conditions for loans to enterprises and for loans to households for house purchase were eased slightly.