Household Budget Survey

The CSO have released the first results of the most recent HBS which was taken between August 2009 and September 2010.  There is also this press release.

Average weekly expenditure is estimated to be €810 per week or around €42,000 per year.  The release contains lots of detailed information by income decile, region, location and household tenure.

23 replies on “Household Budget Survey”

Households with double glazing gone from 53.9% in 2000 to 89.2% in 2010.
Those stats while very positive from a national perspective do not auger well for employment in the domestic glass business.

Table A is fascinating. While total expenditure in euro terms is only 3% up compared to HBS 04/05, expenditure on Housing is up 56%. Most of the increase seems to be attributable to more money being spent on mortgage repayments and also rents.

There are a few free copies in the government publications office for those data junkies out there.

“Average weekly household disposable income was 5 per cent higher at €885.72”

That’s about €46k of net income…. You would have to be earning a pretty reasonable salary to have that amount of disposable income after tax/deductions at source. I’m not sure what that equates to but guessing somewhere north of €60k p.a. ? It seems to me there’s a lot of people around on nothing like that sort of salary. Is it the case in Ireland that many are below this average but a smaller number of peope are significantly above it?

Do you remember the good old days when we were only divided by class? 😉

On the subject of salaries…. Did anyone see C4 news last night? London company looking for a wine seller/taster in international (China mainly and Russia) ‘high net worth’ market expecting to pay well into 6 figures Sterling (up to £200k was mentioned). I think I just heard about my true vocation in life. Comrade – I have a bridge and a pinot noir I’d like to sell to you.

@PR Guy
Data relates to ’09/’10 and household income not single person income. so €60k per household could mean two or more incomes.

Does Ireland have a plutonomy?

If it has, averages reveal very little.

For example, the top 5% of Americans by income account for 37% of all consumer outlays. Outlays include consumer spending, interest payments on installment debt and transfer payments.

By contrast, the bottom 80% by income account for 39.5% of all consumer outlays.

“The average gross weekly household income for the state in 2009-2010 was €1,026.77 which was almost 4% higher than the €987.96 figure recorded five years earlier. Total direct income decreased by 6.1% from €862.55 to €809.56. This decrease was more than offset by the increase in state transfer payments over the five year period,which increased by 73.2% from €125.41 per week to €217.20 • Average weekly household disposable income (which is arrived at after the deduction of income tax and social insurance from gross income) increased by just over 5% from €842.98 to €885.72 over the five year period”.

Table L on page 24 of the report shows the decile groupings. The median weekly income level is €669.46 or 17.4% below the average.

The average figure appears to be around the 62nd percentile so quite a significant positive skew.


“Does Ireland have a plutonomy?”

Suds and a few people who are presently at Cheltenham. Most of the rest of them got wiped out after Lehman Brothers *totally out of the blue* collapsed.

NAMA is minding their assets.

“Rural houses spent 3 times as much as their urban counterparts on central heating oil & solid fuel (18.71 a week vs 6.53)”

The crisis in rural areas is pretty bad me thinks and this was a time period after the late 2008 crash in oil prices…….although with a harder winter of 2009/2010.

The data illustrates a picture of rural households spending most of their disposable income on essentials while depriving themselves of communal activities down at the pub.
A simple investment of a wood gas stove would mean they might afford a extra couple of pints down in the local over a period of time.
And as for their car dependency……..


I doubt if Suds hand stiched shoes ever touched the turf at Cheltenham. No doubt he will be heading to Twickers though.

So we had a drop in food expenditure of 8%…… think about that Food expenditure dropped by 8% in a first world (kind of) country
Drink & fags (maybe?) by a whopping 16.3%
We cut back on shoe leather & clothes by 6 %……..Mario wants the Irish to go barefoot for the team like.
Household durables & non durables dropped 15.5% & 5.3% respectively while transport costs dropped 5.2% as we cut our car capital purchases by more then a half.
Our fuel & light expenditure increased by 15.3% as our consumption remained relatively static.
So those were the 2004/5 to 2009/10 comparison figures

Lets look at the 1999/00 2004/5 period…..& their % rise in expenditure

Food exp. increased by : +21.3%
Alcohol & fags : +7%
Clothes & shoe leather : +21.5%
Household non durables : +20.9 %
Household durables :+32.4%
Transport (our BTUs consumption & capital acquisition was rising back then) :+29.3%
Fuel & light(ditto for fuel) : +42.4%

My God – what happens when all those cars and computers depreciate into dust.
The Bankers will turn us all back into Cro Magnon man – concerned only with heat,light , food and getting our leg over – well during the boom………..

“Whats on telly tonight dear ? – the dying embers love”

Disposable income = direct income + State transfers – direct taxes over the State was €20 less than direct income in 2004-05 but €75 higher in 2009-10. Rural households benefited in both periods, urban in 2009-10 with the rural benefit rising to 17% of direct income in 2009-10.

Missed that – disposable income still less then 100 euros the difference.

Disposable income urban : 922.08
Disposable income rural : 824.29

Don’t believe in land taxes now -it will be counterproductive – it will penalise people who want to farm their backyard acre and therefore their productivity.
Much better to add 10 cents tax to petrol / diesel prices as it will encourage people to make better personel capital choices.

But the system just wants tax as if it was a end by itself. – it does not care how this will effect real net(-energy inputs) productivity.

I guess its about time the True Republic divorced itself from the Pales cold dead hand…….
Seriously when you see scraps of oil like this become commercially viable you know we are in a energy entropy hole.
The private energy surplus created from these endeavours never will go back into creating longer term capital intensive projects that would reduce our oil dependency.
The consumption / capital creation loop is broken by pure consumption in the financial capitals.
Its all a sick capital depletion game really.

@The Dork of Cork

“I guess its about time the True Republic divorced itself from the Pales cold dead hand…….”

You could watch Scotland for the role model. Bugger off, keep the oil and leave the debt etc. behind with the ‘mainland’. I believe that’s their plan. You could also set up petrol stations on the borders of Corkistan and sell petrol at half the price it is in the Republic but only if they do their weekly grocery shop at the same time. Enda would then annexe you….. you know the rest of the story. We’d all start shooting each other again.

The North Sea is in terminal decline – the English new what they were doing – The SNP are like FF over here – very naive country bumpkins.
They hope wind and stuff will save them when only Nukes can and even then nothing beats oil.

2 / 3 /4 TBD would just keep the trains & buses going.
According to BP 2011 review figures we consumed 158TBD in the Republic during Y2010 well off our Y2007 195TBD(peak) but we have a bit to go I imagine.

@Michael Hennigan
The Data does have analysis split out over income deciles.


Here is one stat that struck me as worrying.

If you look on Page 12 it shows that Households with a mortgage are spending €71.98 per week on their pensions however
Households that are renting from a private owner are spending a mere €16.48 per week on their pensions.
So households with mortgages are paying in 4 times as much even though they will not need as much when they retire as they will not need to pay rent every month.

Now I know that we might expect private renters to have a younger average age and therefore be paying less into a pension but 2 things struck me.

For the foreseeable future there are going to be a lot less people getting mortgages (cos the banks have less money to loan) so a lot more people will be renting for longer and if people are renting they need to have a bigger pension pot when they retire cos they need to continue paying rent in their retirement whereas people with a mortgage will have paid it off by retirement.

In other words isn’t there a very serious pension Timebomb going to hit for Private renters proportionately much more than other sectors.

@Eamonn Moran

“In other words isn’t there a very serious pension Timebomb going to hit for Private renters proportionately much more than other sectors.”

There’s a very serious pensions timebomb out there full stop but I hadn’t thought of this aspect of it. Well spotted. My clients will love it. They are looking for new groups to sell rip off defined contribution pensions to. Pay your rent AND pay for a pension that is definitely not going to continue paying that rent by the time you retire matey.

@PR Guy

Hurrah! Someone who shares my pension gripe.

I think I’ve been listening to 20 years of government policy that seeks to both scare and incentivise people into private pensions – what are surely one of the worst financial products ever designed.


I always wonder about the HBS and how representative/accurate it is. I see from the intro the response rate has decreased a lot. What’s the received wisdom on the usefulness of the survey, given how much attention it gets?

@Sarah Carey

“surely one of the worst financial products ever designed”

Between capital units and annual management charges and all the other charges…… you can say that again. And most companies are currently reviewing their pricing/charges … upwards of course.

These products were largely derived to make money for the manufacturer and large commissions for brokers who only have their own interests at heart, not the buyers. It has long been the aim to move the burden away from employers to employees too.

Just a thought:

If you want to know who to collect money from without affecting GDP CHART 15 should be your guide.
What a pity it is not.

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