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Towards Official Balance Sheet Estimates for South Africa`s Household Sector

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  • Janine Aron
  • John Muellbauer
  • Johan Prinsloo

Abstract

Official balance sheet estimates for the household sector are not currently available in South Africa. Yet with South Africa`s well-developed financial sector and deep capital markets, asset market channels are likely to be important determinants of aggregate consumer spending and saving, consumers` demand for credit and their broad money holdings. The current paper aims to produce comprehensive estimates of household balance sheets for South Africa. The paper draws, where feasible, on best practice from the Office of National Statistics of the U.K.. The paper assesses the quality of the data sources and suggests areas where additional surveys or improvements in data collection procedures would be helpful to further improve the quality of the balance sheet estimates. Furthermore, quarterly balance sheet measures to 2003 are provided, and linked to quarterly measures constructed in Aron and Muellbauer (2006a). The main balance sheet categories are liquid assets, household debt and various categories of illiquid financial and tangible assets, including pension wealth, directly held shares and bonds, and housing. Revised debt estimates and new estimates of tangible assets for households and unincorporated businesses are provided. The South African Reserve Bank aims to publish selected items of the quarterly household balance sheets in its Quarterly Bulletin on an ongoing basis. The paper describes the trends of the estimates of the household sector`s balance sheets and of total net wealth. The paucity of data for developing and emerging market countries is illustrated by means of a survey, and lessons are drawn from the South African research for the compilation of household sector balance sheets.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Oxford, Department of Economics in its series Economics Series Working Papers with number WPS/2006-09.

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Date of creation: 01 Jul 2006
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Handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:wps/2006-09

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  1. Pietro Catte & Nathalie Girouard & Robert W.R. Price & Christophe André, 2004. "Housing Markets, Wealth and the Business Cycle," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 394, OECD Publishing.
  2. Kosuke Aoki & James Proudman & Gertjan Vlieghe, 2002. "Houses as collateral: has the link between house prices and consumption in the U.K. changed?," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue May, pages 163-177.
  3. Laurence Boone & Nathalie Girouard & Isabelle Wanner, 2001. "Financial Market Liberalisation, Wealth and Consumption," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 308, OECD Publishing.
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