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Savers increasingly optimistic on putting money away

Saving is on the up as we move towards summer, with an increase in the number of people putting money away, driven by a more favourable attitude to the savings environment.

A significant increase in the number of people saving was seen last month when compared to February, with the Nationwide UK/ESRI Savings Index climbing 12 points to 117.

This reflects a more positive attitude among consumers to Government policy and the current savings landscape. A third of respondents to the monthly survey indicated now is a good time to save, the highest level since 2014.

The proportion of those who believe Government policy encourages saving increased substantially to more than 9%, from 5.4% in February.

Commenting on the index, Brendan Synnott, managing director of Nationwide UK Ireland, said: “This month the index has followed the underlying trend observed throughout 2014 with more people saving regularly, but there is evidence of some discontent with the amount being saved.

“There are also improvements in economic indicators, with increases in household net worth, overall economic growth, increased numbers in employment, and a reduction in numbers unemployed. This means that more people will have disposable income available and so will be in a position to choose between spending and saving.”

The second factor considered by the index — the savings attitudes sub-index which measures how respondents feel about their savings habits and the amount they put aside — also rose from 120 to 129 in March.

The proportion of those who save regularly rose to 40%, from 35% in February. This increase appears to be driven mainly by the decrease in the proportion of those who save occasionally, which dropped from 26.4% to 22.6% this month.

The proportion who would use additional money to pay debts remained steady at 40%, with one in 10 indicating they would spend it and 9% looking to invest.

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