The paper studies the long-term evolution of household wealth in order to compare the changes in Italian financial wealth and real wealth with those of the most advanced countries. We also explore how price changes and saving flows contribute to changes in financial wealth.
In Italy households' real wealth is 5.5 times disposable income, while housing wealth is 4.6 times and financial wealth is 3.8 times disposable income. Therefore total gross wealth is around 9.3 times disposable income. Given that household liabilities make up 80 per cent of disposable income, total net wealth is 8.5 times income. In Italy the ratio of gross financial wealth to disposable income is in line with that in France, greater than in Spain and Germany, and smaller than in the USA, Japan, the UK, and Canada.