Receding trade war fear whets appetite for saving

Bank of Ireland-ESRI analysis reveals more favourable attitude to saving and investment

The easing of trade war fears and a strong April stock market performance increased the Irish appetite for savings and investment, according to the latest Bank of Ireland-ESRI Savings and Investments Index.

The index, which measures Irish peoples’ sentiment towards savings and investments, rose to 101 points in April from 98 in March, representing a return to the upward trend observed since December 2017.

The savings sub-index increased by four points to 103, while the proportion of people saving regularly also improved to 51 per cent from 46 per cent the previous month.

As part of the survey, consumers were asked if the uncertainty around Brexit affected their savings patterns in order to understand if people are saving more in anticipation of the UK's European Union exit. The vast majority (92 per cent) said Brexit was not affecting their savings patterns.

Bank of Ireland’s Tom McCabe said: “The finding that Brexit is almost a non-event for 92 per cent of Irish savers at present is the standout discovery from this month’s analysis of Irish savings and investment patterns.

“This suggests some level of uncertainty around how Brexit could affect the Irish economy and peoples’ finances,” he added, noting Irish people have built up a large savings buffer in recent years, amounting to more than €100 billion.