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Household Wealth Just Keeping up with Inflation

Over the last 9 years Australian average household wealth has only just kept ahead of inflation, growing from $199,000 in 1993 to $280,000 in 2002. This represents an increase of 3.9%pa compared to price inflation of 2.6%pa and wage inflation of 4.2%pa. These figures come from the FPA/NATSEM study "Levels, patterns and trends of Australian household saving" which was released today.

With a growth of the pre retirement age group from movement of the baby boomer cohort into their 50's during this period it is perhaps surprising that wealth has not grown more. The bulk of wealth is made of equity in own-residence housing at $155,000 with superannuation half this at $56,000, or 20% of average net wealth. Shareholdings were half this again at $34,000.

Bottom 20% of households had net wealth of $18,000 (of which super was 83%) while the top 20% had net wealth of $772,000 (of which super was only 12%, with shares 20% and own-residence houseing 54%).

Posted Wednesday, 18 September 2002

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