Household saving falls in March 2021 quarter

Saving by New Zealanders in the March 2021 quarter fell to its lowest level in two years after rising sharply in 2020, Stats NZ said today.

Increases in household spending outpaced income growth, leading to a decline in household saving from the elevated levels that prevailed throughout 2020.

“Household spending increased in the March 2021 quarter, after having been kept in check for much of 2020 by COVID-19 restrictions,” national accounts senior manager Paul Pascoe said.

“Government support measures including the wage subsidy meant that households were able to maintain relatively stable levels of disposable income through 2020. This was despite the COVID-19 restrictions, which constrained household spending. As a result, we saw high levels of household saving throughout 2020.”

“With households spending more in the March 2021 quarter, the household saving ratio has fallen back from the quite high levels experienced through 2020.”

The household saving ratio, which compares saving with net disposable income, was 0.4 percent in the March 2021 quarter, down from 3.2 percent in the December 2020 quarter.

QuarterHousehold saving
Jun-16556000000
Sep-16-244000000
Dec-16-243000000
Mar-17438000000
Jun-17-441000000
Sep-17-191000000
Dec-17353000000
Mar-18151000000
Jun-18334000000
Sep-18148000000
Dec-18287000000
Mar-1974000000
Jun-19550000000
Sep-19927000000
Dec-19554000000
Mar-201536000000
Jun-206975000000
Sep-202198000000
Dec-201564000000
Mar-21199000000
QuarterSaving ratio
Jun-161.5
Sep-16-0.6
Dec-16-0.6
Mar-171.1
Jun-17-1.1
Sep-17-0.5
Dec-170.8
Mar-180.4
Jun-180.8
Sep-180.3
Dec-180.6
Mar-190.2
Jun-191.2
Sep-192
Dec-191.2
Mar-203.2
Jun-2014.7
Sep-204.5
Dec-203.2
Mar-210.4

Net disposable income represents the money that households have available to spend on goods and services after accounting for things like taxes.

In the March 2021 quarter, net disposable income rose 3.1 percent, but a 6.1 percent increase in household expenditure reduced household saving to $0.2 billion in the quarter.

The increase in net disposable income was driven by a rise in compensation of employees, and income of self-employed business owners.

The increase in household spending was driven by increased spending on accommodation, restaurant and cultural services, and durable goods.

QuarterNet disposable income
Jun-1638181000000
Sep-1637970000000
Dec-1638658000000
Mar-1740202000000
Jun-1739840000000
Sep-1740522000000
Dec-1741850000000
Mar-1841967000000
Jun-1842856000000
Sep-1843509000000
Dec-1844286000000
Mar-1944415000000
Jun-1945395000000
Sep-1946358000000
Dec-1946659000000
Mar-2047590000000
Jun-2047559000000
Sep-2048513000000
Dec-2048684000000
Mar-2150177000000
QuarterHousehold consumption expenditure
Jun-1637625000000
Sep-1638214000000
Dec-1638901000000
Mar-1739764000000
Jun-1740281000000
Sep-1740713000000
Dec-1741497000000
Mar-1841816000000
Jun-1842522000000
Sep-1843361000000
Dec-1843999000000
Mar-1944341000000
Jun-1944845000000
Sep-1945431000000
Dec-1946105000000
Mar-2046054000000
Jun-2040584000000
Sep-2046315000000
Dec-2047120000000
Mar-2149978000000

This story is part of a new suite of experimental economic statistics released by Stats NZ today covering income, expenditure, and wealth across all sectors of the economy.

See also:

/Stats NZ Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here.