OECD Factbook 2010: Household debt reached more than 120% of disposable income in UK, Canada, the US and Japan by the time the financial crisis struck in 2008. By then, asset prices were already falling in many economies. A few months later, confidence indicators fell to historically low levels and by June 2009, GDP across OECD countries had plunged 4.7 percentage points over the previous 15 months.
The UK household debt in 2007 was 176% compared with 70% in Italy, 130% in the US in 2008; 95% in Germany and 93% in France. Ireland isn't included in this category but last year, Goodbody chief economist Dermot O'Leary put Ireland's level at 176% - - one of the highest in the world.
The data and a range of other indicators of the crisis and its aftermath can be found in the OECD’s Factbook 2010, an annual digest of economic, social and environmental statistics. The latest edition takes a special look at the causes and consequences of the crisis. The data also show how governments have been responding. It includes more than 100 major indicators overall. In addition to the data for OECD countries, the latest edition provides a broad range of statistics for other major world economies such as India, China, Russia, Brazil and South Africa.
Among the topics covered:
- Population and migration trends
- Production and income
- Trade and globalisation
- Prices, purchasing power and interest rates
- Energy supply, production and prices
- Employment and unemployment rates and trends
- Spending on research and development
- Communication and internet access
- Environmental indicators and trends
- Education outcomes and resources
- Government debt and public spending and taxes
- Health and quality of life
- Special focus; the crisis and beyond
The OECD says the Factbook is central to a long-term OECD programme on using statistics to support policy analysis, agenda setting and policy action. Identifying the most accurate and meaningful data is becoming an increasing challenge for policy-makers and citizens faced with the often bewildering mass of information available today.
The Factbook 2010: Economic, Environmental and Social Statistics is freely available online from www.oecd.org/publications/factbook. This site integrates the OECD’s StatLink service which enables you to download Excel versions of charts, tables and statistical annexes.
The 31 OECD member countries are: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Chile, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, the Slovak Republic, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States.