Number of savers on the rise

Index finds euro zone anxiety is driving consumers towards precautionary saving

Savings Index finds euro zone anxiety is driving consumers towards precautionary saving

Savings Index finds euro zone anxiety is driving consumers towards precautionary saving

Tue, Apr 9, 2013, 10:48

Economic uncertainty is causing more people to save, a new survey has revealed.

According to the Nationwide UK (Ireland)/ESRI Savings Index, 30 per cent of those surveyed believe now is a good time to save.

The overall index rose by five points to 88 in March due to uncertainty in the wider economic environment.

This is up from a figure of 26 per cent in February and 28 per cent this time last year. Furthermore, 30 per cent of consumers are now saving regularly, an increase of 4 per cent since February.

Brendan Synnott, managing director of Nationwide UK (Ireland), said euro zone anxiety was driving consumers towards precautionary saving.

“This month there appears to be an increased sense of anxiety with more people believing they should save in response to the economic conditions and this has pushed the index upwards. It is possible that the financial situation in Cyprus has contributed to this anxiety since indicators on the Irish economy have been generally positive,” he said.

There was a small increase in the proportion of people who say that Government policy encourages saving from 5 per cent last month to 7 per cent in March.

However there was also an increase in the proportion of people who are not saving at all from 45 per cent to 48 per cent.

When asked about how they would spend any spare funds available, 51 per cent of people said they would pay off debts including their mortgage, an increase from 47 per cent last month and 48 per cent this time last year.

Some 33 per cent said they would save the money down from 36 per cent last month and 6 per cent said they would invest it, the same as last month.