<br />Indicator: Net saving, percentage of GDP
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In this dataset, almost all OECD countries compile their data according to 2008 System of National Account (SNA).

The link to the file "ANA_changes.xls" is available for users to provide more information on where OECD countries and non member countries stand regarding the change over the 2008 SNA.

The readers' guide gives general information on the dataset and withheld criteria for this dataset.

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The purpose of saving is to increase future resources available for consumption and to protect against unexpected changes in income. Saving in its simplest terms is very similar to the concept of saving commonly used by the man on the street. It reflects the amount of disposable income that remains after final consumption expenditures, and that is invested - be that in financial assets, such as bank deposits or shares, or non-financial assets, such as real estate. Its importance is therefore paramount in many areas such as: analyses of the sustainability of consumption patterns; or the scope of governments to stimulate demand or raise taxes. Government saving is also an important indicator in a budgetary context. The "Golden rule", for example, that government saving should be zero over the course of an economic cycle is often set as a fiscal objective.

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Definition

Saving is the difference between disposable income and final consumption expenditure plus the adjustment for the change in pension entitlements (which is impacted by the incorporation of the 2008 SNA change regarding the recording of pension schemes, see also B8NS14_S15SB6NS14, Net household saving). It can also be calculated using adjusted disposable income and actual final consumption instead of disposable income and final consumption. It therefore reflects the residual income used to acquire financial and non-financial assets. Net saving is equal to saving minus depreciation.

Because by definition they have no final consumption, saving and disposable income are exactly equal for corporations.

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It is important to note that disposable income does not include any capital gains or losses, and, so, neither does saving. Some have argued that disposable income and saving should include capital gains. But asset prices may rise for reasons unconnected with the productive potential of the economy, for example, a reduction of the risk premium. Moreover capital gains have to be realised before they are available to support consumption, and the very act of realising gains may actually reduce their size. Finally, households respond differently to capital gains than to income. This is partly because asset prices are volatile, and partly because much of household wealth is not in liquid assets (such as dwellings, pension funds). An interesting point to note in this context is the treatment of capital gains taxes, which are included in disposable income. Taken to an extreme, for households this means that savings will fall, everything else being equal, during periods of strong asset prices because of the taxes payable on capital gains realized.

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<br />Indicator: Net saving, percentage of GDPContact person/organisation

In this dataset, almost all OECD countries compile their data according to 2008 System of National Account (SNA).

The link to the file "ANA_changes.xls" is available for users to provide more information on where OECD countries and non member countries stand regarding the change over the 2008 SNA.

The readers' guide gives general information on the dataset and withheld criteria for this dataset.

Readers'guidehttp://stats.oecd.org/wbos/fileview2.aspx?IDFile=0f8a2aaf-ede2-450f-bcd7-5c64c251a50d ANA_changes.xlshttp://stats.oecd.org/wbos/fileview2.aspx?IDFile=a93cfcc9-df92-4d84-be64-58fd6d788737 Other data characteristics

The purpose of saving is to increase future resources available for consumption and to protect against unexpected changes in income. Saving in its simplest terms is very similar to the concept of saving commonly used by the man on the street. It reflects the amount of disposable income that remains after final consumption expenditures, and that is invested - be that in financial assets, such as bank deposits or shares, or non-financial assets, such as real estate. Its importance is therefore paramount in many areas such as: analyses of the sustainability of consumption patterns; or the scope of governments to stimulate demand or raise taxes. Government saving is also an important indicator in a budgetary context. The "Golden rule", for example, that government saving should be zero over the course of an economic cycle is often set as a fiscal objective.

Key statistical concept

Definition

Saving is the difference between disposable income and final consumption expenditure plus the adjustment for the change in pension entitlements (which is impacted by the incorporation of the 2008 SNA change regarding the recording of pension schemes, see also B8NS14_S15SB6NS14, Net household saving). It can also be calculated using adjusted disposable income and actual final consumption instead of disposable income and final consumption. It therefore reflects the residual income used to acquire financial and non-financial assets. Net saving is equal to saving minus depreciation.

Because by definition they have no final consumption, saving and disposable income are exactly equal for corporations.

Other manipulations

It is important to note that disposable income does not include any capital gains or losses, and, so, neither does saving. Some have argued that disposable income and saving should include capital gains. But asset prices may rise for reasons unconnected with the productive potential of the economy, for example, a reduction of the risk premium. Moreover capital gains have to be realised before they are available to support consumption, and the very act of realising gains may actually reduce their size. Finally, households respond differently to capital gains than to income. This is partly because asset prices are volatile, and partly because much of household wealth is not in liquid assets (such as dwellings, pension funds). An interesting point to note in this context is the treatment of capital gains taxes, which are included in disposable income. Taken to an extreme, for households this means that savings will fall, everything else being equal, during periods of strong asset prices because of the taxes payable on capital gains realized.

Recommended uses and limitations

Comparability

Because disposable income and final consumption expenditure are large aggregates, small changes to either are capable of producing a large change in gross saving. Although in itself this does not impair international comparability, it does mean that some care is needed in interpreting early estimates of saving's statistics, which may be affected by revisions.

As described in the metadata of B8NS14_S15SB6NS14, not all countries include the adjustment for the changes in pension entitlements so comparisons of savings estimates at the sectorial, but not national, level will be affected.

Caution should be used when comparing countries that report their national accounts under the SNA 1993 standards.

Some care is also needed in terms of economic interpretability at the sectorial level. For example, because in many countries capital gains taxes are lower than marginal income taxes, instead of paying a dividend, a company may choose to buy its own equity at a premium, so rewarding its shareholders with a capital gain. This would result in lower estimates of households' savings than if dividends were paid and thus included in disposable income.

<Body /><Link><Title>2008 SNAhttp://stats.oecd.org/wbos/fileview2.aspx?IDFile=62f21fca-6a46-4460-b2d7-00d40d59f18dBibliographyhttp://stats.oecd.org/wbos/fileview2.aspx?IDFile=13c0f8d7-28cf-463b-a443-6d11290b4756