Consumers loosening purse strings a little
CONSUMERS are becoming more inclined to spend their money and save a little less, a new survey shows.
The Nationwide (UK) savings index found that consumers are still prioritising paying down debt, but there has been a surge in the numbers who are prepared to spend.
Just 6pc of people were prepared to spend in March, but that had jumped to 16pc last month. This was the highest level recorded since January 2010.
Preference to spend is even higher among the over-50s age bracket, with 18pc of this group prepared to spend any spare cash.
When asked about their reasons for saving, the largest proportion of respondents cited precautionary motives, with 42pc indicating they saved for unexpected expenses.
The second most popular reason for saving is for a holiday.
Of those consumers who are able to save occasionally or regularly, most save between €51 and €100 a month.
Managing director at Nationwide UK (Ireland) Brendan Synnott said: "While the savings index this month shows only a small decline, there are a number of findings in the data overall that may indicate the emergence of a more positive outlook overall amongst consumers."
Meanwhile, consumer sentiment weakened in April, but the drop was not unexpected due to the range of poor economic news and after the somewhat surprising improvement in sentiment in the previous three months.
The KBC Bank Ireland/ESRI consumer sentiment index dropped to 57.9 in April from 59.5 in March. Any figure over 50 signals growth.