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Our disposable income is down

HOUSEHOLD disposable income levels dropped by a significant €356m, or 0.4pc, last year, new figures show.

The latest figures also show a significant drop in consumption expenditure levels with consumer spending falling by 1.2pc, or €945m, during 2011. Preliminary estimates revealed by the CSO show the average combined gross disposable income of households came to just over €88.8bn.

This was down from the just under €89.2bn at the end of 2010.

The latest data outlines that investment by the Government last year amounted to €5.3bn and there was also a substantial capital transfer of €5.8bn relating to bank recapitalisation.

Taken together with the Government investment figure, this means that there was a net borrowing requirement of just over €21bn for Government as of the end of 2011.

Last year did see some improvement in the Government's savings deficit -- with the annual figure going from a deficit of €13.02bn in 2010, to €10.63bn by the end of last December.


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