Irish people saved almost €174 a month on average during lockdown, data shows

New clothes and staycations are top of the list for consumers eager to spend

The survey, conducted by N26 digital bank, found a growing awareness among consumers of the importance of shopping locally. Photograph: iStock

The survey, conducted by N26 digital bank, found a growing awareness among consumers of the importance of shopping locally. Photograph: iStock

 

Irish consumers saved an average of almost €174 per month during lockdown, new data has shown, a figure consumers expect to climb higher once lockdown is lifted.

A survey into attitudes towards saving and spending, conducted by digital bank N26, found that the average monthly savings figure is expected to rise to €195.21 per month once lockdown is lifted, when consumers expect to save even more.

With that buffer, consumers are more confident about their finances and plan to begin spending. New clothing was top of the list for Irish shoppers in the next three months, with 44 per cent saying they would be splashing out.

Staycations also featured highly, with 29 per cent planning a holiday near home and one in five planning a holiday abroad. A quarter said they planned to pay off debts. The survey also revealed a growing awareness of the importance of shopping locally.

“Many consumers who have managed to save during the pandemic are clearly getting excited thinking, not only about when they can spend their money again, but also where they will spend it. A lot of people across Europe have become more conscious of their surrounding area and loyal to their local merchants. This loyalty, combined with a certain level of caution about venturing far afield, is likely to influence where savings are spent,” said Adrienne Gormley, N26 chief operating officer.

“What is also interesting to note is that Irish consumers are saving more than the European average, both during lockdown and potentially after lockdown restrictions are lifted. It shows that Irish consumers are looking ahead to the future, and this is evident with a quarter of people saying they will be spending money to reduce their debts over the next three months, with 11 per cent saying they won’t be making any purchases at all in the same period.”

European survey

The survey questioned 6,000 people across Europe, including 1,000 Irish respondents. Participants were asked about their spending and saving habits during lockdown and over the coming months, as restrictions are eased.

The average European consumer saved almost €146 per month, which is expected to rise to €158.30 once restrictions are lifted. Half are confident of a holiday close to home, compared with 51 per cent of Irish respondents.

On average, 47 per cent of Europeans are confident about meeting friends and family in bars or restaurants, with Irish people more confident at 53 per cent.

Among those who are not confident about meeting up with loved ones, 28 per cent said they will keep their money safe in the event of a new wave of the virus.

“Many Europeans have clearly used the pandemic as an opportunity to save. This should bode well for economic recovery – and we’re already seeing the seeds of this,” said Alex Weber, chief growth officer at N26. “There are still barriers to financial confidence, including uncertainty around the vaccine rollout and worries about different strands of the Covid-19 virus. However, as restrictions lift across markets, the dominant sentiments are optimism, and,increasingly, confidence.”