Households' savings rate

Updated: 15 Mar 2021
Next update: 17 Dec 2021

The household savings rate is the difference between household net disposable income (including adjustment for the change in net equity of households in pension funds reserves) and household consumption expenditure. The household savings rate is the ratio of savings to net disposable income. If the savings rate is negative, then households have spent more than they have earned. If the savings rate is positive, then households have not spent all their income, but also put some money aside.

During times of economic depression and recession the household savings rate tends to rise because households are more cautious in their consumption and they are keen to pay off some of the debt they have accumulated during the period of upturn. The household savings rate gives no indication of household debt.

The figures for household savings rate are produced three times a year. The data for each year are updated for a period of about two years after the end of the statistical year as well as in time series examinations, which are conducted less frequently. Data are also produced quarterly.


Households' saving rate grew as a result of corona – disposable income increased slightly and consumption expenditure fell clearly

Wages and salaries received by households fell in nominal terms by 0.4 per cent to EUR 92.8 billion. In the previous year, wages and salaries went up by 3.5 per cent. Received social benefits other than social transfers in kind increased by 5.4 per cent to EUR 47.6 billion. This was particularly due to the 2.6 per cent growth in employment pensions paid to EUR 29.4 billion and the 38 per cent growth in unemployment benefits paid to EUR 5.0 billion.

Households' saving rose to EUR 6.9 billion (EUR 1.0 billion in 2019). This was affected by the 0.5 per cent growth in disposable income to EUR 133.1 billion and by the 4.6 per cent decrease in consumption expenditure to EUR 115.2 billion. Saving grew faster than disposable income as consumption expenditure fell clearly. As a result, households' saving rate grew to 5.7 per cent in 2020.