Disposable income of households falls in first three months

Thursday 31 July 2014 12.28
Household income, spending and savings were all down in the first quarter
Household income, spending and savings were all down in the first quarter

The gross disposable income of households fell by nearly 5% in the first three months of the year.

According to figures from the CSO, the quarterly household gross disposable income was €22.2 billion in the first quarter, a decrease of €1.12 billion from the last three months of 2013.

There was also a decrease in quarterly household expenditure of €138 million over the same period bringing it to €19.6 billion.

Gross household saving was down by nearly €1 billion to €2.6 billion.

The savings ratio, an expression of savings as a percentage of disposable income, fell from 15.4% at the end of last year to 11.7% by the end of March.

Meanwhile, lending to Irish households fell by nearly 4% in the year to June, according to figures from the Central Bank. 

Loans for house purchases, which account for 80% of household loans, were down by 3% in the same period.

Lending for consumption and other purposes declined by 6.7% over the year.

Irish resident private-sector deposits increased by €26 million during the month of June.

"The credit data continue to remain the most disappointing as regards Ireland’s recovery story," Alan McQuaid, chief economist with Merrion said. 

"While there has been some improvement in recent months in terms of bank lending, progress continues to be slow. Advancing credit to the SME sector in particular is essential if the economy and labour market is to fully recover. But even lending to households leaves a lot to be desired, still down close on 4% on an annual basis," he concluded.