disposable household income rises

According to Statistics Netherlands, net real disposable income of households in the Netherlands was 1.2 percent higher in the first quarter of 2015 than twelve months previously. Disposable income has been increasing for one year now. Wage increases are the main reason for the growth, although savings also increased.

Disposable household income, % year-on-year change

Wages push up incomes

Net real disposable income of households was 1.2 percent higher in the first quarter of 2015 than in the same quarter last year. It is the fifth quarter in a row that income rose, continuing the recovery of disposal income after the crisis. The rise in the total wage sum was an important factor in the increase. This was mainly the result higher levels of collectively agreed wages. Social benefits rose by 850 million euros, partly because of the increase in the number of pensions paid.

More taxes and social contributions

Dutch households spent 1.6 billion euros more on taxes and social contributions in the first quarter of 2015 than a year before. This had a negative effect on disposable income. Taxes on income in particular increased. Normally, inflation has a downward effect on real disposable income, but because inflation is quite low at present, this effect is only small.

Contribution to change in real disposable income

Savings increase further

Household savings amounted to 1 billion euros in the first quarter, a little more than last year. Savings consist of the remainder of income after consumption. In addition to these individual savings, also collective savings are also taken into account, for example, the money households pay into pension schemes.

Gross household savings

Savings have increased continually in recent years. Even when income decreased, savings were still positive. Uncertain economic developments and falling housing prices resulted in households tighteming their purse strings. Now the economy is recovering, it will be interesting to see whether households will continue to save to this extent. The amount of savings in the first quarter of 2015 suggests that this trend is continuing for the time being. Savings are usually small, or even negative, in the first quarter. As  most employees in the Netherlands receive a holiday allowance in May, which increases their income substantially in the second quarter compared with other quarters, savings are much higher in the second quarter.


StatLine, Key figures by sector; National Accounts