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Impact of COVID-19 on household consumption and savings

06/08/2020

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The household saving rate in the EU recorded its all-time highest year-over-year increase in the first quarter of 2020 (+3.5 percentage points (pp) compared with the first quarter of 2019).

The main reason is the marked year-over-year decrease of household final consumption expenditure (-1.7%), in stark contrast with its recent increases above 2%. Additionally, the increase of household gross disposable income (+2.4%) also contributed to the increase of the saving rate.

 

Evolution of household saving rate, consumption and income in the EU

Source datasets: nasq_10_ki and nasq_10_nf_tr

 

The household saving rate has increased in all EU Member States for which data are available for the first quarter of 2020. Among the EU Member States, the highest year-over-year increase was observed in Slovenia (+7.7 pp), followed by Poland (+6.8 pp) and Spain (+6.7 pp).

In contrast, the lowest increase was recorded in Sweden (+1.1 pp), Czechia (+2.0 pp) and Germany (+2.2 pp).

 

Year-over-year change of household saving rate, consumption and income in Q1 2020

Source datasets: nasq_10_ki and nasq_10_nf_tr

 

The increase in the household saving rate is explained by the increase of gross disposable income in all EU Member States. The decrease of household individual consumption expenditure in 10 EU Member States contributed further to the increase of their saving rates.

The largest decreases of household expenditure were observed in Italy (-6.4%), Slovenia (-5.3%) and Spain (-5.2%). On the other hand, in six EU Member States, the household individual consumption expenditure increased when compared with 2019Q1, the largest increases in Poland (+5.1%) and Czechia (+4.0%).

 

For more information on the impact of COVID-19 crisis on non-financial corporation and household accounts, you can read this Statistics Explained article.

 

Note: Member States whose GDP is below 1% of the GDP of the EU27 do not have a legal obligation to send quarterly data for households and non-financial corporations to Eurostat.

 

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