Sunday 26 February 2017

Our feelings of financial security have hit their lowest level

Charlie Weston Personal Finance Editor

Picture posed. Photo: Thinkstock
Picture posed. Photo: Thinkstock

AN index that measures how secure people feel about their finances has hit a new low.

The Standard Life financial confidence index fell to 51pc, the lowest level since it began almost four years ago.

Those living in Dublin were hit hardest, with confidence falling the most.

However, those in the 65 years and older age group were the most financially confident. In contrast, those aged between 55 and 64 showed the second largest decline in financial confidence.

Standard Life's head of marketing Brendan Barr said it was hardly surprising that a sense of security was at a low ebb.

"People's pay packets were severely impacted by increased taxes since the start of the year -- a reduction in disposable income has no doubt affected their confidence.

Savings

"There was also speculation about the extra capital required by the banks and continued concern about our sovereign debt."

Standard Life surveyed 1,000 adults over the period March 25 to April 4.

Consumers have reacted to the economic uncertainty by saving more, another survey out yesterday showed.

The Nationwide UK (Ireland) index also noted a decline in a willingness to spend money.

Nationwide UK's Brendan Synnott said higher savings rates have been driven by consumer concern about the external economic environment.

One in four of the people interviewed for the survey saves regularly. A significantly lower percentage of people are now opting to spend any excess money they may have available, he added. Only 6pc of people said they would spend any excess money at the moment.

"Neither of these trends is good news for the prospect of a consumer-led economic recovery. However, the response to the bank stress tests may have a positive impact on consumer sentiment and encourage a more balanced approach to spending and saving."

Irish Independent

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