Savings Index bolstered by return to saving in January

Nationwide UK (Ireland)/ESRI Savings Index Monthly Report, January 2011

The Nationwide UK (Ireland)/ESRI Savings Index increased by 19 points in January, recovering from December’s 11 point decline, as consumers begin the New Year with a strong desire to save.

The improvement in the Savings Index was driven by increases in both the Savings Attitude and Savings Environment sub-indices. A 22 point gain in the Savings Attitude Index was driven by an increase in the percentage of people who are saving regularly, up from 37% in December to 40% in January, and a decrease in the percentage of people who believe they are saving less than they think they should, down from 63% in December to 61% in January.

The Savings Environment sub-index witnessed an 18 point gain driven by a 3 point increase in January in the percentage of people who believe that now is a good time to save, up to 28% in January from 25% in December, and a decrease in the percentage of people who believe that now is a bad time to save, down from 47% in December to 41% in January.

In January there was also a slight decline in the number of people who said they would use surplus cash to pay off debts including mortgages (55% in December versus 53% in January), whilst only 10% said they would spend excess cash.

Commenting on the latest figures, Brendan Synnott, Managing Director of Nationwide UK (Ireland), said, “Looking at the trend since the autumn, and ignoring the impact of the budget in December data, the index has been trending upwards, indicating an increase in saving behaviour and a reluctance to spend amongst consumers. This trend and other economic indicators mean that there is still no sign of a consumer demand led contribution to economic recovery and this situation is unlikely to change at least until after the General Election.”

Key Highlights

  • Savings Index increased by 19 points in January
  • The improvement in the overall Index reflected increases in both the Savings Attitude and the Savings Environment sub-indices
  • More consumers are saving regularly
  • Consumers are more positive about the amount they are able to save
  • More consumers think now is a good time to save
  • Consumer expectations for 2011 have improved since December with a 6% reduction in the percentage of people who expect to save less in six months time. This figure is now 39% versus 45% in December

Year 2010=100
Savings Index
Savings Attitude Index
Savings Environment Index
Importance of Savings Index
Jan-10 106 98 114 103
Feb-10 117 132 103 103
Mar-10 121 136 107 102
Apr-10 105 104 106 101
May-10 97 85 110 102
Jun-10 90 81 99 104
Jul-10 97 99 95 99
Aug-10 101 99 102 98
Sep-10 82 82 82 97
Oct-10 94 96 92 97
Nov-10 100 91 109 95
Dec-10 89 97 80 99
Jan-11 108 119 98 97

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

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. Starting this month (January 2011) the Index has been rebased using the year 2010 as the base period.

For further information 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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