Bad weather, improved consumer conditions leads to drop in level of savings

New indicator shows Irish people put less money away in the bank last month

The proportion of people saving regularly slumped to its lowest level on record

The proportion of people saving regularly slumped to its lowest level on record

 

Consumers put less money away for a rainy day last month with the bad weather partly to blame for people spending more. The continuing economic recovery also played a part, especially for people under the age of 50.

The Bank of Ireland/ESRI Savings and Investments Index fell from 102 points in February to 98 in March, the lowest reading since the indicator was first published last October.

The savings sub-index declined by 4 points to 99, while the proportion of people saving regularly also slumped to its lowest level on record.

“Based on the March results, Irish peoples’ enthusiasm for saving appears to be waning. There could a couple of different catalysts behind this; younger people may be now more inclined to spend as the economy continues to improve and March’s adverse weather could also have reinforced that shift towards spending,” said Tom McCabe, Bank of Ireland Investment Markets.

“However greater numbers of over-50s are increasingly expressing the view that now is a bad time to save. This group is more likely to have lump sums available for saving. Here perhaps people are growing tired of the low interest rates on offer for savings and are now looking for alternative investment options with the potential for higher returns,” he added.