While market worries over the solidity of the proposed recue package for Greece haven’t gone away (if anything, they may again be intensifying), the focus is now beginning to sharpen on Portugal. Some good background via the New York Times here, including this detail:
That Greece and Portugal are among those in the worst trouble is well known, with both likely to be encumbered by high debt, weak competitiveness and stagnant growth for years. But another factor contributing to their troubles is their savings rates – 6 percent of gross domestic product for Greece and 7.5 percent for Portugal. These are low for developed countries. In contrast, Italy has a savings rate of 17.5 percent, Spain 20 percent, France 19 percent and Germany 23 percent.
And yes, the U.S. savings rate is dismal.