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Households continued pandemic-level saving between April and June 2022

CSO statistical publication, , 11am

This release has been compiled during the COVID-19 crisis. The results contained in this release reflect some of the economic impacts of the COVID-19 situation. For further information see our Information Note.

Table 1.1 Seasonally Adjusted Gross Household Saving by Component (€million)
 Total Disposable Income (B.6g + D.8)Final Consumption Expenditure (P.3)Gross Saving Ratio

The household saving rate in the second quarter of 2022 was almost 20%. This was nearlytwice the long term average rate. This elevated proportion of income not consumed has been a feature of the economy since the COVID-19 pandemic began. With the end of restrictions, a sharp increase in spending might have been expected, but this was not the case for the April to June period of this year.

Saving ratio
2019Q1 9.38%
2019Q2 9.73%
2019Q3 10.9%
2019Q4 13.0%
2020Q1 21.1%
2020Q2 33.7%
2020Q3 21.7%
2020Q4 25.9%
2021Q1 32.1%
2021Q2 23.2%
2021Q3 22.5%
2021Q4 20.9%
2022Q1 19.1%
2022Q2 19.9%

After accounting for seasonal factors, disposable income of households rose, mainly due to rising wages and salaries (D1). 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. The wage bill increased across almost all sectors.  Growth was highest in Distribution, Transport, Hotels & Restaurants, which was up €213m or 3.9% in the quarter. This sector had an increase in numbers employed, but also an increase in average earnings in the quarter. There was also significant growth in the pay to workers in Industry; and Professional, Admin & Support Services.  The Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) made up €122m (0.4%) of the total compensation of employees in the quarter, down from a peak of €1,695m (7.3%) in the equivalent quarter of 2020.

Higher take-home pay meant higher taxes (D.5) and PRSI (D.61) paid by households (see Table S1M, below). The tapering of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) is seen in the decline in social transfers to households (D.62). There was also higher investment income received (D.4, D.8) on assets such as pension fund holdings. 

There was a rise in spending in the quarter: this increase was due to price inflation, as well as larger volumes of goods and services being consumed as COVID-19 restrictions were lifted.

In June, the Consumer Price Index showed a 3-month rise of 3.2%. The largest contributors to this increase in the cost of living were products that all households need: Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas & Other Fuels; and Transport.

After allowing for these price increases and seasonal factors, household consumption rose 1.8% in April-June, as the Quarterly National Accounts show. The Retail Sales Index shows the biggest volume increases in: Cars; Food; and Pharmaceutical, Medical & Cosmetic Articles. On the other hand, the volume of Furniture & Lighting sales was down significantly in the period.

The saving of households was added to wealth which is held in various kinds of assets. Capital investment (P.5), mainly in new homes and improvements was €2.5bn in the quarter up from €1.8bn in the second quarter of 2021. A significant proportion of the saving was left in banks: deposits from households increased by €2.3 billion in the quarter. Central Bank of Ireland data also shows some saving went to paying off debts: lending to Irish households decreased by €0.4bn in the quarter (that is, repayments of principal exceeded new draw-downs).

sectorChange (Seasonally Adjusted) since Q1-2022
Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing0.115711260115063
Industry (excl. Construction)127.184688813673
Distribution, Transport, Hotels and Restaurants213.233495728928
Information and Communication96.5609427832082
Financial and Insurance Activities-10.3338759112116
Real Estate Activities8.60951102391221
Professional, Admin and Support Services125.212263328652
Public Admin, Education and Health88.799945102719
Arts, Entertainment and Other Services30.3737364368667

The seasonally adjusted data series which includes Gross Disposable Income, Personal Consumption of Goods and Services and Gross Saving of the Household incl. NPISH sector is available on PxStat. Only the most significant transactions are shown in the table for each sector in this release. The entire unadjusted series for all variables published in this release are also available at the same link. See Background Notes for definitions of the terms used.

Table S.1M Households and Non-Profits