December 2011 – Note on recent developments in the household balance sheet
S Walters and National Accounts Division
Last Modified Date:
2020-10-01, 09:30 PM
Quarterly Bulletins > Articles and Notes
This note briefly reviews macroeconomic developments in the household balance sheet since 2003, updating the note on household wealth and balance sheets published in the September 2010 Quarterly Bulletin. Household balance-sheet data are important for assessing the economic behaviour of the household sector and provide valuable insights regarding the wealth of the sector.The net wealth position of households is the difference between the total assets and liabilities of the household sector. An increase in the net wealth position of households in general improves individuals’ ability to accommodate or withstand abrupt economic shocks or a fall in income. Furthermore, it affects households’ capacity to borrow and thus to spend or invest. In addition, an improved wealth position generates additional income for the household sector. The total assets of the household sector primarily comprise produced non-financial or fixed assets and financial assets, whereas total household liabilities consist of mortgage advances and other borrowing by households, largely from the banking and trade sectors.