Household saving rate unchanged in EA16 and EU27

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Household saving rate unchanged in EA16 and EU27In the fourth quarter of 2009, in both the euro area (EA16) and the EU27, the seasonally adjusted household saving rate was almost unchanged compared with the previous quarter, while the household investment rate decreased. In the euro area, household disposable income fell by 0.2% in real terms.

Household saving rate almost unchanged in both zones

In the fourth quarter of 2009, the seasonally adjusted gross saving rate of households was 13.3% in the EU27, the same as in the third quarter of 2009. In the euro area5, the household saving rate was 15.1% in the fourth quarter of 2009, compared with 15.2% in the previous quarter.

Household real disposable income decreased by 0.2% in the euro area

In the euro area, the household saving rate was almost unchanged as there was a fall in both real final consumption expenditure (-0.1%) and real disposable income (-0.2%). Real disposable income decreased slightly, as household nominal disposable income grew less (+0.4%) than the prices of goods and services consumed by households (+0.5%).

The increase (+0.4%) in household nominal disposable income was mainly due to net social benefits and taxes, which each contributed +0.2 percentage points (pp). Compensation of employees (wage costs) and gross operating surplus (together with mixed income which accrues to self-employed households) each contributed +0.1 pp. Net property income and other current transfers had a negative impact (-0.3 pp).

Household investment rate still falling in both zones

In the EU27, the gross investment rate of households was 8.1% in the fourth quarter of 2009, compared with 8.3% in the third quarter of 2009. In the euro area, the household investment rate was 8.9% in the fourth quarter of 2009, compared with 9.1% in the previous quarter.

In the euro area, the household investment rate decreased as gross fixed capital formation (investment, mostly in dwellings) fell in nominal terms (-1.4%), while nominal disposable income grew (+0.4%).

These data come from a detailed set of quarterly European sector accounts released by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, and the European Central Bank (ECB).

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