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54 per cent of people still believe now is a bad time to save

The Nationwise/ESRI Saving Index revealed most people are still using any spare funds they have to pay down debt.

Image: Piggy bank image via Shutterstock

FIGURES RELEASED TODAY have shown that pessimism towards overall savings remains with 54 per cent of people saying they believe now is a bad time to save.

The Nationwide UK/ESRI Savings Index increased slightly – four points – in January to 85 but negative feelings towards the general environment has negated the uplift in saving sentiment normally witnessed in January.

In both January 2011 and January 2012 the Savings Index recorded significant increases in positive sentiment towards saving, with jumps of 19 and 23 points recorded respectively in the overall index.

The Savings Environment sub–index, which gauges opinion on whether it is a good time to save and how government policy encourages saving increased to 76 in January from 71 in December. This was despite an increase to an all time high of 54 per cent in the proportion of people who believe that now is a bad time to save. The level recorded is 13 percentage points higher than January 2012.

The number of people now not saving at all fell to 46 per cent from 48 per cent in December. In January 2012, 31 per cent of people were not saving at all while 64 per cent reported that they were uncomfortable with the amount they were able to save. Only 14 per cent were happy with the amount they were saving each month.

The index revealed most people use their spare funds to pay down debt, with just 33 per cent saying they would save spare cash.

Read: Consumer spending power to stabilise this year, improve in 2014>

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