The latest Bank of Ireland/ESRI Savings and Investments Index has been released today. The Index tracks household attitudes towards savings and investment as well as monitoring their perspectives on the current and future savings and investment environment.
The index retraced some of its big November gain in December, finishing at 102 points compared with 103 the previous month. The overall change was driven by lower investment levels and an easing in sentiment towards the future savings and investment environment in the first half of 2018.
The monthly Savings Index decreased to 103 points in December from 104 in November. The monthly Savings Attitudes Index, which asks people about their saving behaviour and how they feel about the amount they save, was unchanged with 53% of people saving regularly in December indicating that saving attitudes remain strong.
Irish peoples’ willingness to invest remained resilient in December with 34% of people answering that they invested regularly compared to 31% in December. Investment activity was more prevalent amongst younger people with 39% of under 50s regularly investing compared to just 26% of over 50s.
However, the amount people said they were investing in December was lower – 63% felt they were investing the right amount in December (compared to 67% in November) with 21% answering they invested nowhere near enough, up from 16% the previous month. It is likely that Christmas was a factor behind this result.
This Risk Barometer asks households how they would consider using a windfall gain of €10,000. 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 (47% compared to 41% in October), suggesting that people were more open to considering investments.
Commenting on the research, Global Investment Strategist at Bank of Ireland Investment Markets, Tom McCabe said, "Irish sentiment towards savings and investments eased in December mainly as a result of a weaker outlook for the saving and investment environment. 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."