Rising negative sentiment drives savings index lower

Rising negative sentiment towards savings drove the national savings index lower in April. The Nationwide UK (Ireland)/ESRI Savings Index which measures overall sentiment towards saving, fell to 114 last month.

The sub-index measuring the proportion of people who consider it to be a good time to put money away and whether government policy encourages people to save, fell three points, driving the overall index lower.

Commenting on the index, Nationwide UK (Ireland) managing director Brendan Synnott said: “This month the index has followed the underlying trend observed over the last few months, with more people saving regularly, but there is evidence of some discontent as to whether the current period is a good time to save.

“As the financial health of the economy improves, we are seeing that more people are saving with specific purchases in mind as opposed to saving with a precautionary motive.

“These are positive trends in re-establishing a normal saving and spending pattern in the economy despite the challenging savings environment,” said Mr Synnott.

The proportion of respondents who say they would use any surplus cash to pay off debt, including their mortgage, increased slightly to 42% while a further 9% said they would spend it.

One in 10 respondents to the survey indicated they would invest extra funds while the proportion who would choose to save remained steady at 40% for the third successive month.

The proportion of those who save regularly continued to rise to 43%, from 40% in March. This increase appears to be driven mainly by the decrease in the proportion of those who previously did not save, which dropped from 37.9% to 34.5%.

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