More than half of consumers still saving
More than half of Irish consumers are continuing to save for a rainy day.
The Bank of Ireland Savings and Investment Index published today shows that 53pc of consumers in Ireland were saving regularly during December.
But there are signs that households are less keen on the savings environment, indicating they might feel they are not currently generating sufficient returns on their savings.
"Irish sentiment towards savings and investments eased in December mainly as a result of a weaker outlook for the saving and investment environment," Tom McCabe, global investment strategist, Bank of Ireland Investment Markets, said.
"December’s decline in the savings environment index may be temporary given recent trends in the index but it could also be an early indication that savers are looking for better returns on their money and are willing to consider alternatives to their savings account."
Some 34pc of Irish consumers also said they invested regularly during December.
Investment activity was more prevalent among younger people, according to Bank of Ireland, with 39pc of under 50s regularly investing, compared to just 26pc of over 50s.
The amount people were investing in December was lower than in November, with 63pc of people who invested in December saying that they invested the right amount, while one in five people said they invested nowhere near enough, up from 16pc the previous month. Christmas was likely to have been a factor behind this result.
This Risk Barometer also asked households how they would consider using a windfall gain of €10,000, and the December survey still confirmed that Irish people retain a heavy preference for saving, with nearly two thirds saying they would save some of this windfall.
However, a higher proportion of people said they would invest (47pc compared to 41pc in October), suggesting that people were more open to considering investments.
The Bank of Ireland Savings and Investment Index is produced monthly from a minimum sample of 800 consumers aged 15 years and above.