House­holds see 2.6 bln go in one year

Fam­i­lies’ dis­pos­able in­comes have con­tracted by al­most a third since the start of the fi­nan­cial cri­sis

Kathimerini English - - Front Page - BY SOTIRIS NIKAS

The quar­terly dis­pos­ablein­come of Greek house­holds con­tracted by an av­er­age of 31.8 per­cent, or 14,181 eu­ros, in the five years since the start of the fi­nan­cial cri­sis, ac­cord­ing to data re­leased yes­ter­day by the Hel­lenic Sta­tis­ti­cal Au­thor­ity (ELSTAT), while it showed an an­nual de­cline of 8 per­cent, or 2.6 bil­lion eu­ros, in the third quar­ter of 2013.

Third-quar­ter fig­ures showed that house­holds’ spend­ing money dropped to 30,400 eu­ros from 44,581 eu­ros in the July-Septem­ber pe­riod in 2008, mean­ing that it has gone back to quar­terly lev­els un­seen since the Oc­to­ber-De­cem­ber pe­riod of 2002.

Fis­cal ad­just­ment poli­cies im­ple­mented in the last few years have led to a dras­tic de­cline in house­hold in­comes ei­ther be­cause of shrink­ing salaries, pen­sions and ben­e­fits, and the loss of jobs or be- cause of in­creases in tax­a­tion.

The 8 per­cent drop in dis­pos­able in­come in the third quar­ter of 2013 is mostly at­trib­uted to a 9.9 per­cent de­cline in salaries and a 8.2 per­cent re­duc­tion in the so­cial ben­e­fits that house­holds re­ceive.

ELSTAT data also pointed to a 10.2 per­cent fall in con­sumer spend­ing in Q3 from the same pe­riod in 2012, amount­ing to 32.4 bil­lion eu­ros against 36.1 bil­lion a year ear­lier. The sav­ings in­dex, i.e. the ra­tio of gross sav­ings to the gross dis­pos­able in­come, was mi­nus 6.7 per­cent in July-Septem­ber 2013, com­pared with mi­nus 9.3 per­cent the year be­fore.

The worst year for fam­ily in­comes was 2012, when the an­nual re­duc­tion amounted to 11.5 per­cent, while in 2010 the de­cline reached 9.5 per­cent year-on-year. The quar­ter with the high­est house­hold in­come since records started (in 2000) was the sec­ond of 2007, when it amounted to 48,526 eu­ros. The all-time low on a quar­terly ba­sis was the dis­pos­able in­come recorded in the third quar­ter of 2000, reach­ing just 26,749 eu­ros.

On the pos­i­tive side, the net loan re­quire­ments of the gen­eral gov­ern­ment shrank to just 1.2 bil­lion eu­ros in the same quar­ter, from 6.4 bil­lion a year ear­lier. Fur­ther­more there was a net sur­plus in the ex­ter­nal bal­ance of goods and ser­vices of 2.6 bil­lion eu­ros, up from a sur­plus of 1.8 bil­lion in the sum­mer quar­ter of 2012.

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