It is estimated that a rate of domestic savings of at least 15% of gross income would be a necessary condition for self-sustained growth in the developing countries. Many countries are unable to achieve this.
In the USA, the savings rate was at a historic low point in 1990. Net savings had fallen from more than 7% of the economy in the 1960s to about 3% in the 1980s. On average 4.2% of disposable personal income was allocated to saving in 1993 compared with 8.6% in 1973.
In most developing countries, total investment exceeds national savings; and the gap is filled by the net inflow of financial resources from abroad, on which the countries are therefore dependent.