Pandemic further slashed PH savings in ’21, says PSA
Amid the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic that drained the financial resources of Filipino families and firms, the Philippines’ total savings further fell to P3.88 trillion last year.
The Philippine Statistics Authority’s (PSA) latest consolidated accounts and income and outlay accounts report released on Thursday showed the country’s 2021 gross savings dropped 12.4 percent from P4.43 trillion in 2020.
Gross savings are the difference between gross national disposable income and the total goods and services consumed by the government and households.
Before the pandemic happened, the country’s gross savings amounted to P6.15 trillion in 2019.
The PSA said gross national disposable income last year rose 4.2 percent to P21.51 trillion as the economy recovered from its pandemic-induced slump two years ago.
Badly hit households
The business also rebounded from the Philippines’ worst postwar recession in 2020, as nonfinancial corporations managed to save a combined P3.54 trillion in 2021.
However, households badly hit by job losses as well as the government which spent more to fight COVID-19 have yet to save up.
PSA data showed that the government posted a dissaving, or spent more than it earned, amounting to P490 billion in 2021.
As for households, including nonprofit institutions serving them, a bigger P620-billion dissaving was recorded last year.
Pantheon Macroeconomics chief emerging Asia economist Miguel Chanco earlier said that following a peak in “revenge” spending during the first quarter, which led to the stronger-than-expected 8.3-percent gross domestic product growth, household savings were already drying up, aggravated by expensive food and oil products weighing on private consumption recovery this year.