Impact of COVID-19 on household consumption and savings in EU

Eurostat shows that 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.

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).

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%).

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