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Swiss households big savers, survey says

Malcolm Curtis · 14 Nov 2012, 10:26

Published: 14 Nov 2012 10:26 GMT+01:00

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The sum emerged from the results released on Tuesday of a household budget survey conducted by the federal statistics office.

The average household was able to save 1,170 francs a month after deduction of all expenditures, according to the findings.

However, the statistics office said that those in the lowest income group —  with an income of 4,800 francs or less — are generally unable to put aside savings.

They often spend more than they have, running up debts as a consequence.

The survey showed that Swiss households spent almost a tenth of their income after taxes and deductions — an average of 910 francs — on transport.

Of this, 614 francs was earmarked for the purchase and maintenance of one or more vehicles, fuel included.

In 2010, 79 percent of Swiss households owned at least one car, a figure that has remained stable for the past few years, the statistics office report said.

Expenditures on public transport and other forms of travel such as taxi rides and plane trips amounted to 148 francs a month.

Gross household revenue averaged 7,360 francs, according to the findings.

Mandatory expenses, including taxes, accounted for 29 percent of gross income.

Monthly taxes averaged 1,175 francs, or about 12 percent of gross income.

The biggest single spending item was housing and energy, with 1,500 francs a month spent on rent or mortgage payments and utility bills.

Income from revenue generated from assets, such as investments, accounted for more than five percent of gross revenue in only a sixth of households.

Among other expenses, mandatory private health insurance premiums accounted for 5.5 percent of gross income.

The statistics office noted that the size of households surveyed varied in size with 39 percent having more than one income-earning adult.

The office did not provide comparisons from previous years.

Malcolm Curtis (news@thelocal.ch)

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