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STATISTICS BRIEF

In this issue

1

What is the household saving ratio and why is it important?

2

Published and

standardised household

saving ratios

Possible causes for differences of the standardised household saving ratio 3

5

Other factors affecting the comparability of household saving ratios

6 7 8

Conclusions Glossary Further information

Comparison of household saving ratios:

June 2004 No. 8

Euro area/United States/Japan1

By Ross Harvey

More and more analysts tend to compare the three largest economic regions: the euro area, the United States and Japan. One of the occupational hazards for analysts is that international comparisons of statistics are still fraught with some difficulties. Despite the existence of well-developed international standards for national accounts, namely the System of National Accounts 1993 (SNA 93), in practice international comparisons are not as straightforward as they might appear. This study examines the comparability of household saving ratios for the euro area, the United States and Japan.

What is the household saving ratio and why is it important?

Households play a number of significant roles in the economy, including as consumers of final goods and services, as providers of labour services and recipients of labour income, as proprietors of unincorporated businesses and as a source of savings to fund investment

Chart 1. Household saving ratios, as published

         

   













     













Sources: ECB and National statistical agencies

1. This study was undertaken as part of a wider project, jointly sponsored by the European Central Bank (ECB) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), to investigate the comparability of analytical ratios derived from national accounts by institutional sector for the euro area, the United States and Japan.

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

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