In the first quarter of 2020, when Member States began to widely introduce COVID-19 containment measures in March 2020, household real consumption per capita dropped by 3.0% in the euro area, after a decrease of 0.4 % in the previous quarter. This decline is the highest since the beginning of the time series in 1999. Household real income per capita increased in the first quarter of 2020 by 1.1 %, after a decrease of 1.1 % in the fourth quarter of 2019.
In the EU household real consumption per capita decreased by 2.9 % in the first quarter of 2020, after a decrease of 0.2 % in the previous quarter. This decline is the highest since the beginning of the time series in 1999. Household real income per capita increased by 1.2 % in the first quarter of 2020, after a decrease of 1.0 % in the fourth quarter of 2019.
Household gross disposable income
During the first quarter of 2020, household gross disposable income increased by 0.9% in the euro area and by 1.2% in the EU. The reduction in current taxes and net social contributions had a strong positive contribution to gross disposable income, while the contribution of social benefits was higher than usual. The decrease observed in received wages, operating gross operating surplus and mixed income of households contributed negatively in the growth of gross disposable income in both zones.
Household savings rate significantly up in the Euro Area
In the first quarter of 2020, the saving rate increased in both the euro area and the EU by 4.3 percentage points, compared to the fourth quarter of 2019.
The household saving rate increased in all Member States, for which data are available for the first quarter of 2020. The highest increases were observed in Belgium, Denmark and the Netherlands, and the lowest in Poland, Sweden and Czechia. For all but two Member States, the increase of the saving rate was explained by the strong decrease of individual consumption expenditure. The drop in the individual consumption expenditure of households was the most pronounced in Italy, Spain and Belgium, followed by France. At the same time, the gross disposable income varied, increasing in Poland, Denmark, Czechia, Ireland, the Netherlands and Finland and decreasing in Spain, Italy, Portugal, Germany and Austria.
Household investment rate down in the euro area and the EU, varied in the Member States
In the first quarter of 2020 the investment rate decreased by 0.2 percentage points for the euro area and 0.3 percentage points in the EU.
Among the Member States for which data are available for the first quarter of 2020, the decrease in investment rate of households was the highest in Spain, France and Belgium. Seven Member States recorded an increase in the household investment rate, the highest being observed in Germany, the Netherlands and Denmark.
The euro area (EA19) consists of 19 Member States: Belgium, Germany, Estonia, Ireland, Greece, Spain, France, Italy, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Austria, Portugal, Slovenia, Slovakia and Finland, plus the European Central Bank and the European Stability Mechanism.
The European Union (EU27) includes Belgium, Bulgaria, Czechia, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Ireland, Greece, Spain, France, Croatia, Italy, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Hungary, Malta, the Netherlands, Austria, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Finland and Sweden plus the EU institutions.
Methods and definitions
Household real income per capita is defined as the adjusted gross disposable income of households, in nominal terms, divided by the total population (source: National Accounts concept) and by the deflator (price index) of household final consumption expenditure.
Household real consumption per capita is defined as the actual final consumption expenditure of households, in nominal terms, divided by the total population (source: National Accounts concept) and by the deflator (price index) of household final consumption expenditure.
The compilation of the European sector accounts follows the European System of Accounts 2010 (ESA 2010) and covers the period from the first quarter of 1999 onwards. The data comes from a detailed set of seasonally adjusted quarterly European sector accounts released by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union and the European Central Bank (ECB).
Institutional sectors bring together economic units with broadly similar characteristics and behaviour, namely: households (including non-profit institutions serving households), non-financial corporations, financial corporations, government and the rest of the world. In the latter, to measure the external transactions of the Euro Area / European Union, it is necessary to remove cross-border flows within the area concerned.
Eurostat website includes detailed annual and quarterly sector accounts of Member States of the European Economic Area and derived key indicators published around 120 days after each quarter (which also cover annual indicators such as debt-to-income ratios). A subset of quarterly key indicators is published around 94 days after each quarter.
Due to the conversion to Euro, the growth rates of European Union aggregates may be affected by movements in exchange rates.
The method used for compilation is the same as for previous releases. However, these estimates are based on source data that are subject to revisions under the COVID-19 containment measures.