Households saved 19% of their income in Q3 2022, down from 20% in Q2 2022. Before the pandemic, households saved around 10% of their total disposable income, so 19% is still well above the long-term average.
The standard of living (real Total Disposable Income) for Irish households has declined in three of the last four quarters. This is down from a peak in the third quarter of 2021 which was the highest level in the 24-year series.
Taking inflation into account, household income was down by 0.8% between July and September (Q3) of this year.
Household earnings were up as more people were in work, but inflation outpaced this growth, leaving real income lower.
Household consumption grew. This was partly due to high inflation, but also because more goods and services were used.
The Real Total Disposable Income (TDI) is published for the first time in the accounts for Quarter 3 of 2022 and feedback on this development is welcome.
Real TDI is estimated by first deflating the current price estimate of TDI. The deflator used is the implicit deflator of household consumption: that is, the ratio of current price to constant price Individual Consumption Expenditure (P.31). This price-adjusted TDI is then seasonally adjusted using an X-13 model, the model used for seasonal adjustment in the rest of the accounts.
Incomes of households before inflation rose slightly in the third quarter of the year. Overall household income is driven by pay to workers and the combination of higher average pay per hour and more people in work drove up wages and salaries at current prices (not taking account of inflation). Figure 2 illustrates the changes by economic sector in the quarter after adjusting for seasonal factors (such as higher tourism). The wage bill increased across almost all activities. Growth was highest in Public Administration and Wholesale & Retail Trade. The only sector where compensation of employees declined was Industry, and this was a small reduction relative to the Industry total.
As well as wages, Total Disposable Income also includes other income such as self-employed earnings, interest and dividends received and social benefits (such as Child Benefit), but is after deduction of income taxes, social contributions (such as PRSI) and interest paid. More detail will be published in the Institutional Sector Accounts next month.
|sector||Change (Seasonally Adjusted) since Q2-2022 €m|
|Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing||2.31042279603867|
|Industry (excl. Construction)||-34.931390202406|
|Distribution, Transport, Hotels and Restaurants||75.2204375053689|
|Information and Communication||22.0908837005695|
|Financial and Insurance Activities||43.0865412103399|
|Real Estate Activities||-0.790949644472391|
|Professional, Admin and Support Services||51.7945978206826|
|Public Admin, Education and Health||149.426320871406|
|Arts, Entertainment and Other Services||-1.24060337998787|
In September, the Consumer Price Index showed a 3-month rise of 0.6%. The largest contributors to this increase in the cost of living were: Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas & Other Fuels; and Hotels & Restaurants.
There was a slight rise in spending in the quarter (after usual seasonal fluctuations were taken into account): this increase was due to larger volumes of goods and services being consumed, as well as price inflation. The Retail Sales Index shows highest volume increases in Department Stores, Furniture & Lighting and Bars, while the Services Index found growth in Food Service and Other Services (such as gambling and hairdressing) . However, there were lower volumes of Clothing & Footwear sold, and Accommodation and Transport services consumed in this period.
Saving is the difference between income and consumption, and the derived Saving Ratio is the saving divided by the income. Saving is given in current prices, and shown seasonally adjusted in Figure 4. The saving ratio was 19% this quarter, which is down from 20% in the second quarter of the year. The saving level remain above their pre-COVID-19 level of around 10% but from Figure 4 we can see an overall slow downward trend since 2021-Q1.
Households have generally decided not to wind down their lockdown savings, but rather to continue to add to wealth. Investment in dwellings (most of which is by households) grew again this quarter to €3.5bn and is at its highest level since 2008. Households also paid off €0.2bn in loans rather than take out new ones, and added €2.4bn to their €145bn deposits in banks.
The Central Statistics Office (CSO) has today (06 December 2022) released Household Saving Q3 2022.
Commenting on the results, Peter Culhane, Statistician in the National Accounts Analysis & Globalisation Division, said:
"Household income declined slightly in real terms (constant prices) in this quarter owing to inflation. Total Disposable Income (TDI) adjusted for inflation and seasonal factors was down 0.8% on the previous quarter. This real household TDI peaked in 2021-Q3, when it reached its highest point since the series started in 1999-Q1. Current price income (or nominal income, that is, without taking account of how inflation reduces purchasing power) has been rising steadily as more people are in work and the average wage is going up. However, real income has declined in three of the last four quarters as price increases have out-paced incomes.
Spending rose between July and September, not only due to higher prices, but also because a greater volume of goods and services were bought or consumed.
Savings at 19% in Q3 2022 were down from 20% in the second quarter of 2022. This is part of a slow trend toward lower saving seen over several quarters. The saving level remains above its pre-COVID-19 level of around 10% as some of the savings habits developed during the restrictions are maintained. Households have generally decided not to spend their savings, but to continue to add to their assets and reduce their borrowing.