Latest data shows Government policy having adverse affect on saving environment

December's Nationwide UK (Ireland) / ESRI Savings Index remains static following 2012 Budget

The Nationwide UK (Ireland)/ ESRI Savings Index, which fell 24 points in November, remained static in December as the budget confirmed a further increase in tax on savings.

Although the Overall Savings Index remained unchanged at 91 there was a decline in the Savings Environment sub-index from 98 in November to 95 in December. The average value for this sub-index in 2011 was 115.

In December 57% of people believed that government policy discourages saving. This is the second highest value recorded for negative attitudes towards the influence that government policy has had on saving since the Index began collating data in January 2010. December's negative value of 57% is seven percentage points higher than the 2011 average.

The percentage of people who believe that now is not a good time to save increased to 48% in December from 45% in November. This is the highest level of negativity recorded in this area since the Index began and is seven percentage points higher than the 2011 average.

Commenting on the latest Savings Index research, Brendan Synnott, Managing Director of Nationwide UK (Ireland), said, ”There has been a marked shift in recent months in the data coming from the Index research when you look at 2011 as a whole.

The Index declined sharply in November and has remained at this low level in December. November's decline was driven by uncertainty in the economic environment and government policy. These two key influencing factors continue to discourage saving.

Uncertainty remains over how and when the current crisis in the Euro currency will be addressed while on a domestic front the increase in the rate of tax on savings introduced in the 2012 Budget is a further disincentive to saving.”

In December, 46% of consumers were saving with a precautionary motive for unexpected expenses. 15% were savings for education or training while 7% were savings for a holiday. 29% of regular or occasional savers are saving between €51 and €100 a month and 28% are saving 50 or less a month

Highlights

  • Savings Index remains unchanged in December at 91 points
  • Savings Environment sub-index declined 3 percentage points in December to 95
  • 57% of people believe government policy discourages saving (December 2011)
  • 48% of people do not believe that now is a good time to save (December 2011)

Savings Index data

 
Savings Index
Savings Attitudes index
Savings Environment Index
Importance of Savings Index
Dec-10 89 97 80 99
Jan-11 108 119 98 97
Feb-11 97 94 100 101
Mar-11 108 91 124 99
Apr-11 103 89 117 96
May-11 128 121 136 97
Jun-11 98 90 105 99
Jul-11 111 99 124 97
Aug-11 105 94 117 99
Sep-11 107 93 120 100
Oct-11 115 88 142 98
Nov-11 91 85 98 99
Dec-11 91 87 95 96

About the Savings Index

The Savings Index is constructed from monthly research on the attitudes of Irish consumers towards saving.

The Index measures peoples responses to questions on their attitudes and behaviour towards saving (The Savings Attitude Index) and conditions in the wider environment (Savings Environment Index).

The Nationwide UK (Ireland) Savings Index is produced from a minimum sample of 800 consumers over 15 years of age. The ESRI carries out the Savings Index research to ensure the indices represent a national sample.

Note: Prior to January 2011 the Nationwide (UK) Ireland Savings Index was constructed using quarter 1, 2010 as its base period. From January 2011, the Index has been rebased using the year 2010 as the base period.

For media queries or interview opportunities, please contact:

David O’Síocháin, Pembroke Communications
Tel: 01 649 6322 / 087 9362440
E: david@pembrokecomms.ie

Nikki Latchford, Pembroke Communications
Tel: 01 6496428 / 086 1026811
E: nikki@pembrokecomms.ie

 

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