Household wealth hits record $15 trillion

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That comes after about $200 billion was saved in calendar 2021, with about $25 billion added to household savings in the month of July alone.

They acquired financial assets worth $52.4 billion over the quarter, including both deposits and equity in super and pension funds. Those assets were offset, however, by $44.5 billion of liabilities, of which almost $42 billion was attributed to loans.

“Deposit assets continued to grow, though at a reduced pace as spending continued to increase following the easing of COVID-19 restrictions,” the ABS report said.

“Acquisition of net equity in pension funds reflected continued growth in employment. Decreased activity in the property market in the early months of the new year and repayments made on outstanding credit card balances following the holiday spending period contributed to lower demand for loan borrowings by households this quarter.”

Demand for credit hit a record $218.8 billion, driven by private-non financial corporations which borrowed $153.2 billion.

“Despite corporate restructuring activity, business equity expanded as foreign-owned resource companies reinvested their retained profits earned on exports. Business borrowing was the strongest seen in the last two years,” said Katherine Keenan, ABS’ head of finance and wealth.

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National investment fell $14.9 billion to $125.2 billion, with household investment sliding $6.1 billion to $44.3 billion.

Non-financial corporations’ investment decreased $8.3 billion to $55.5 billion and general government investment fell by a smaller $0.2 billion to $22.4 billion.

Capital investment fell to 22.7 per cent as a proportion of net GDP, with household and general government investment flat at 8.3 per cent and 4 per cent respectively.

Non-financial corporations’ investment fell to 9.9 per cent, while financial corporations’ investment remained steady at 0.5 per cent.

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The Reserve Bank of Australia’s conclusion of its Bond Purchasing Program in February marked the end of its extraordinary pandemic monetary policy measures, with the deposit assets of banks with the RBA reaching an “unprecedented” $439.3 billion.

Economic forecasts, however, suggest household wealth may be hit by declining house prices and the sharp downturn in risk assets such as shares and cryptocurrencies.

Modelling by fund manager Coolabah Capital suggests house prices nationally could fall by 30 per cent or more if the RBA continues to raise interest rates.

Retirement sector analysts, meanwhile, expect many super funds to report negative investment returns this financial year – the first in 13 years for some providers.

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