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Epidemic pushes households' final consumption, savings rate to record levels

Ljubljana, 31 March (STA) - Households in Slovenia saved a record high share of their disposable income in the coronavirus year 2020, while their final consumption expenditure saw a record drop, the Statistics Office (SURS) said on Wednesday.

While gross disposable income usually declines or stagnates in crises, transfers as part of government measures to mitigate the social and economic consequences of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020 prevented this potential decline at the aggregate level, SURS explained.

Gross disposable income of households rose by 9.8% or EUR 716 million in nominal terms in the last quarter of 2020 annually to EUR 8.04 billion.

In the entire year 2020, gross disposable income of households was by 3.8% higher than the year before.

Households' final consumption expenditure meanwhile dropped by 15.4% to EUR 5.67 billion in the October-December period nominally compared to the same quarter in 2019.

In the whole of 2020, it dropped by 10.3% annually, the sharpest decrease to date and first since 2013.

"We can see that the coronavirus pandemic and measures to mitigate its consequences significantly affect households' consumption and saving behaviour," SURS commented.

With much lower final consumption expenditure, households' savings increased more sharply.

The gross household saving rate, which shows a share of gross savings in a household's gross disposable income, rose by 20.8 percentage points in the fourth quarter to 30.2% compared to the last quarter in 2019.

The first annual estimate shows that households in Slovenia in 2020 saved 25.1% of their gross disposable income, up 11.7 points over 2019.

The increase in the gross household saving rate in the fourth quarter and in the entire 2020 was the largest so far, said SURS.

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