The number of regular savers increased in December, new data shows, adding to a slow recovery in savings activity after a major dip in 2012.
The Nationwide UK (Ireland) and ESRI Savings Index found that 34pc of people said they save regularly in December, compared to 32pc in November and just 30pc a year ago.
At the same time the proportion of people who said they are not saving at all declined, falling to 40pc in December from 44pc in November and 48pc a year ago.
But the finding show people still view the current economic climate as difficult for saving, particularly young people.
The Savings Environment sub-index, which gauges opinion on economic conditions and the impact of government policy on saving, declined five points in December. This decrease was driven by those aged under 50, amongst whom the sub-index has declined each month since September.
Falling interest rates and increased tax on interest earned are to blame for this, according to Brendan Synnott, the managing director of Nationwide UK (Ireland).
“While this month’s results are relatively stable and the overall Savings Index has remained unchanged, the Savings Environment Sub-Index has weakened slightly with those aged under 50 in particular continuing to express negative sentiment about the environment for saving” said Mr Sinnott.
He predicted 2014 will be “an interesting year” for saving because as consumer confidence recovers, “a preference to spend may well play a bigger role in overall saving behaviour.”