Consumers ditch plans to save as holiday season looms

New survey shows sentiment towards saving is at its lowest since February

According to the survey, 21.6 per cent of respondents said they weren’t saving enough, as against 13.5 per cent a month earlier

According to the survey, 21.6 per cent of respondents said they weren’t saving enough, as against 13.5 per cent a month earlier

 

As the run-up to Christmas gets underway Irish consumers have little interest in putting money aside for a rainy day, a new survey shows.

The latest Nationwide UK (Ireland)/ESRI Savings Index, which measures overall sentiment towards saving, fell to its lowest since February last month.

The index fell from 129 in September to 108 in October, with consumers expressing pessimism about their ability to save in the current climate.

The Savings Attitude sub-index, one of two sub-indices that make up the main index, declined by 35 index points to 104. The Savings Environment sub-index, which asks if people believe that now is a good time to save, fell from 119 points in September to 113 in October.

According to the survey, 21.6 per cent of respondents said they weren’t saving enough, as against 13.5 per cent a month earlier. Meanwhile, the number of people who believe now is a good time to save fell by 12.5 index points, with older people in particularly feeling that now is a bad time to be saving.

As many as 45 per cent of respondents said they would use any surplus cash they had to pay off debts, up from 40 per cent in September. A further 10 per cent said they would spend any extra money they had, down 16 per cent on the prior month. Some 8 per cent said they would invest any additional funds.

``It seems that post-budget, consumers’ attitudes toward savings have dipped. In part the change in sentiment can be explained by seasonal factors. With Christmas approaching consumers are under more pressure to spend money and many will expect outlay to increase in the coming weeks. This is reflected in the results, which show an increase in those who don’t feel they can save enough,” said Nationwide UK (Ireland) managing director Brendan Synnott.