Whereas other leading industrialized nations have savings rates of more than 10%, notably Germany and Japan, the savings rate in the U.S. has been less than 1% for the past four years. 

In the second quarter, however, it inched up toward 3%. While that will crimp consumer spending in the short term, the bigger picture is the long term; a higher savings rate should spur banks to make loans to businesses, which, in turn, will help to boost the economy, Fortune reports.

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