EU households register biggest-ever decrease in consumption

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Household real consumption per capita in the European Union fell by 2.9 percent in the first quarter of the year, following a decline of 0.2 percent in the previous quarter. Statistics by Eurostat show that this was the largest drop since records began in 1999.

The decrease in the euro area reached 3.0 percent, after consumption was down 0.4 percent in the last quarter of 2019. The biggest decline was observed in Italy, Spain, and Belgium.

Household income, on the other hand, rose by 1.2 percent in the EU and by 1.1 percent in the euro area following Covid-19 measures by local governments that included tax reduction and net social contributions.

The saving rate across the bloc showed a marked increase of 4.3 percent compared with Q4 2019, rising the highest in Belgium, Denmark, and the Netherlands.

Gross disposable income was less uniform and, whereas households in countries such as Poland, Denmark, Czechia, and Denmark registered an increase, those in Spain, Italy, Portugal, and Germany reported a decrease.

Data specific for Malta was not available for the quarter under review.

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