Consumers set aside €81bn for a rainy day

CONSUMERS are saving at record rates with close to €81 billion set aside on deposit for a rainy day, as three million savers put away an average of €3,999 every year.

An extra 250,000 are saving more regularly than a year ago, according to the latest EBS Building Society quarterly Consumer Savings Sentiment Research.

The analysis found that 86% are saving money, compared to 79% in August 09, and 77% in August ‘08.

However, 530,000 people are not saving regularly – there are 466,000 signing on the live register every week.

And the research found that Irish people are now debt adverse. Four in every five polled said they are more likely to save to buy a big ticket item rather than borrow,

The research found that close on 35% of people save regularly, with the balance saving when they can.

“The average amount saved per annum per saver is now €3,999, or €333 per month. This is an increase of about 9% in the past three months. Generally people are starting to feel they are managing their money better, with 66% of respondents stating that compared to last year they are better at managing their money.

“Men are saving almost twice as much as women each year (€5,132 versus €2,737),” EBS said.

Levels of consumer confidence remain at levels similar to the last quarter, with almost half of those asked stating that they are more confident about their own economic well being compared to this time last year, and those aged 24 years and under more confident than the older generations.

EBS head of marketing, Aidan Power, said the continued stabilising in consumer sentiment is positive, and people appear to be more confident about how they are managing this money.

“We continue to see that people are saving for large-ticket items with holidays and car purchase among the main reasons why people have accessed their savings. When we asked people about using their credit card to fund holidays, the response demonstrates the move toward this new more sensible attitude to saving, with three in every four respondents stating they will save for their holiday rather than pay for it on their credit card,” he said.


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