Households' savings rate

Updated: 12 Jul 2018
Next update: 31 Jan 2019

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’ savings rate, i.e. the ratio of savings to disposable income, was negative for the second year in a row, at -1.3 per cent. In the previous year, it was -0.7 per cent.