Household net lending – what the micro data indicate

by Magdalena D. Riiser

While existing statistics are based on macro data, this article uses micro data to analyse household financial wealth and debt dating back to 1987. These data show that households in the 35–44 age group were behind the sharp rise in net lending during the banking crisis in the late 1980s. The data indicate two main changes since the early 1990s. First, households in the 35–44 age group have returned to their usual behaviour of negative net lending. Second, net lending in the 45–64 age group has fallen. In isolation, this means that households have smaller financial buffers against negative economic events.

Net lending in the group with the highest level of financial wealth has risen since 2004, pushing up overall household net lending. For the majority of households, net lending continued to decline in this period.

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Published 5 February 2010 15:30