Household wealth rises as debts are paid off
DESPITE the recession and plummeting incomes, the actual wealth of the average household has risen by 6pc to €22,125 per head, according to new Central Bank estimates.
Consumers have been paying down debt and there has been some recovery in pensions and investments after spectacular crashes in value in 2008.
Although large numbers of households are struggling to meet mortgage and utility payments, the Central Bank said the net wealth of households had surged by 70pc since the start of 2009.
It said this was largely due to a reduction in loans and mortgage debt, as households attempted to cut the high debt levels.
They are also paying down more of their debts at a faster rate than they are taking out new loans.
In the government sector, which includes all loans of the State, total debts fell by €2bn in the last quarter of 2010 to over €150bn.
The Central Bank said this was due to the Government using deposits to repay debt securities and as the bond market turmoil led the market value of government debt to fall.