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Dublin: 12 °C Friday 24 October, 2014

Two thirds of Irish consumers can’t save regularly

While there have been gains over the last year, most Irish people still can’t save every month.

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ONLY ONE THIRD of Irish consumers can save regularly, with many citing Government policy as a main disincentive to save.

The Nationwide UK (Ireland)/ESRI savings index shows that while overall sentiment towards saving increased slightly during May, a large majority of Irish people still can’t put anything aside on a monthly basis.

This is, however, a slight increase on last year, with all age groups now better able to save than during 2013.

33 per cent of under 50s say they can save regularly compared to 28 per cent a year ago, with 31 per cent of over 50s now putting something aside every month.

The over 50s in particular are hostile to Government policy on savings, with only five per cent saying that policy encourages saving.

Nationwide managing director Brendan Synnott said that the recent stability in the economy was behind the steady returns from the savings sentiment index, but warned that there are “diverging influences” in the overall trend.

“We are seeing an increase in the proportion of people who are saving regularly and an increasing level of agreement that now is a good time to save despite the unfavourable market conditions for saving.”

There is, however, a recurring negative theme around government policy towards saving; this is unlikely to change in the short term and the reduction in the ECB base rate announced last week will be a further blow to savers.

A large minority of those surveyed use their savings to pay off debt, with 36 per cent saying that they save the money as a nest-egg.

Read: Here’s what the Irish are saving money for>

Read: 54 per cent of people still believe now is a bad time to save>

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