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13.54 17 Nov 2017


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New figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) show Irish disposable household income has increased by 3.9%.

While household debt was just under 1.5 times income in 2016 - continuing down from more than twice income in 2009.

But the annual figures also show day-to-day personal spending has increased as the saving ratio declined slightly to 6.6%.

The saving ratio is saving divided by income. Saving is defined by the CSO as "the money that people have left after day-to-day spending."

The Irish saving ratio is below the EU average of 10.3%.

People used saving mainly:

  • to pay off loans (household debt to income is down to 147% in 2016 from 212% in 2009)
    to increase deposits in the bank (up €3bn for households in the year)
    to buy new houses (investment up 16% in 2016)
Source: CSO

The statistics also show that both average pay and numbers in work increased.

The CSO says just 50 companies are responsible for 30% of Ireland's GDP.

It says large multi-nationals located here had gross profits of €78bn, paid €4bn to their employees and €3bn in tax in 2016.

Looking at these corporations separately, the CSO says they grew their gross profits by 8% since 2015.

Commenting on the results, senior CSO statistician Michael Connolly said: "This data shows that a lot of the volatility in the economy is due to multi-nationals located here.

"Once they are separated out we see more stable growth in the purely domestic economy."

The financial sector continued to expand in 2016, with €4.8 trillion in loans, bonds and other financial assets.

For scale, mortgages and other loans to Irish households all together are just 3% of that €4.8 trillion.

Read the full report here


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