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Almost half of people are not saving at all - survey

When asked what consumers will do with spare cash, half said they would use it to pay off debt.

A NEW SURVEY by Nationwide/ESRI has shown that 47 per cent of people are not saving at all which is the highest recorded level of non-saving.

The Nationwide/ESRI Saving Index showed that just 28 per cent of people are now saving regularly which is a record low in the Index and down from 41 per cent in November 2011.

The Savings Attitude sub-index, which guages sentiment on saving behaviour, declined from this time last year from 112 to 96.

In November, 30 per cent of consumers think that now is a good time save compared with 27 per cent last month, and 27 per cent this time last year.

Although 44 per cent believe that now is a bad time to save, this has decreased from 48 per cent a month ago and 45 per cent in November last year.

On the negative front, more than half, or 57 per cent, believe that government policy discourages saving which is a 5 percentage point increase on November 2011.

When asked what consumers will do with spare cash, 50 per cent said they would use it to pay off debt, 39 per cent would save it and just 9 per cent would spend it.

A large proportion of savers are also uncomfortable with the amount they save, with 62 per cent  reporting that they feel they are saving less than they should.

Commenting on the index, Brendan Synnott, Managing Director of Nationwide UK (Ireland) said that over the course of 2012 there has been a consistent increase in the number of people who are not saving and a steadu decline in those that save on a regular basis.

“At the same time however, people continue to believe that they should save,” he said.

“There is positivity towards the idea of saving given the economic environment and the preference to pay down debt or save as opposed to spend also remains. This diverging attitude and behaviour has been apparent throughout 2012 and the budget is likely to further re-enforce this trend.”

Read: Budget 2013: Four days to go, here is the speculation so far>

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