Appetite for saving money declines as economic reopening gather pace
There are indications in Bank of Ireland’s latest Savings and Investment Index that appetite for saving money is declining as the economy continues to gradually reopen.
In May of last year, 55% of people surveyed by the bank said they saw it as a good time to save money, but this had dropped to 47% in June of this year.
The bank attributes the change in outlook to a release of pent up demand as services reopen after rolling closures over the past 15 months.
The finding largely reflects the most recent deposit figures published by the Central Bank.
While household deposits continued to grow in May, rising to a record €131.5 billion, the pace of growth in savings had eased somewhat.
In May of 2020, households in Ireland collectively put €1.5 billion euro into bank, credit union and post office accounts.
By this May, that amount had fallen to €587 million.
While attitudes towards saving decline from elevated levels, attitudes towards investing money moved upwards, according to the Index.
36% of people surveyed last month saw it as a good time to invest. That was the highest since the survey started.
By contrast, the investment index stood at just 23% in February 2020.
Worries about everyday bills and job security lessen
Survey participants were asked about their attitudes to certain aspects of the economy and their own financial situations.
While around a third of those surveyed in March were concerned about paying every day bills, by June this had dropped to one in four.
Concerns about job security had fallen from 27% to 22% and concerns about income reductions from 41% to 34%.
“Clearly the roll-out of the vaccination programme and start of the re-opening of the economy has begun to gradually change how people view the world. While the concerns that have dogged us for over a year remain elevated, these survey results very clearly show a marked mprovement in confidence,” Kevin Quinn, Chief Investment Strategist at Bank of Ireland, said.
“Concerns about family health, income and job security and meeting day to day bills have all fallen back significantly. There remains a long journey to normalisation but the Savings & Investment Index findings are very consistent with a resurgent consumer confidence evident across the developed world,” he added.