Household Wealth and Saving in New Zealand: Evidence from the Longitudinal Survey of Family, Income and Employment

This paper uses data from the Survey of Family, Income and Employment (SoFIE) to estimate household saving in New Zealand between 2004-2006. Comprehensive data on wealth is collected biannually in SoFIE and we calculate household saving by examining how wealth has changed over time.

We find that even the most conservative estimate of household saving was at least 14% of gross income during this time period. On the other hand, the indirectly derived Household Income and Outlay Accounts (HIOA) indicate (net) household saving was -12.5% per year over the same period.

We also find no evidence that capital gains in housing during this time period crowded out saving or that the composition of household wealth in New Zealand differed from that in other developed countries.