Household incomes considerably down

In the third quarter of 2009, the overall disposable income of Dutch households was 3.0 billion euro (i.e. 3.3 percent corrected for inflation) down on one year previously, but their financial capital grew in the second and third quarter of last year, mainly due to positive price developments on the financial markets.

Incomes self-employed and incomes from dividends down

The reduction of the disposable income is predominantly caused by a reduction in incomes from dividends and incomes of self-employed. The dividend yield decreased by 0.9 billion euro, incomes of self-employed by 0.7 billion euro. Contributions to pension schemes rose by 0.5 billion euro. Altogether, employees’ incomes – the major income source for Dutch households – remained more or less stable. 

Employees’ incomes did not change, because several effects worked in opposite directions. Many employees, in particular flexible contract workers, lost their jobs in 2009, which had a downward effect on the total earnings. The total loss of jobs of employees was 140 thousand relative to one year previously.

The collectively negotiated wage increase for employees on fixed-term contracts averaged 2.3 percent and is the result of agreements concluded prior to the outbreak of the economic crisis. The actual wage increase was more modest, as the number of variable payments dropped considerably. Earnings per labour year were 1.8 percent higher than a year ago.

Disposable household income

Disposable household income

Financial capital households improved

The Financial capital of households has increased since the second quarter of 2009. In the third quarter, the increase was 65 billion euro (9.0 percent) relative to the preceding quarter. In 2008, the financial capital had been reduced by nearly a quarter. With 836 billion euro due to growth in the second and third quarter of 2009, the financial capital of Dutch households is back to the level of 2004. It was also for the first time in eighteen months that it increased compared to the same period one year previously.

Financial capital is affected by share prices. In the third quarter of 2009, the value of shares and bonds grew by 8.8 percent. With 5.8 percent, life insurance and pension fund reserves – indirectly owned by households – also increased.

Financial capital households, 31 December 2009

Financial capital households, 31 December 2009

Melanie Koymans