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 Bank of Ireland/ESRI Savings and Investments Index remained unchanged at 102 in February 2018. The Savings Index was unchanged at 103 in February but the Investment Index surprisingly nudged higher to 101 against the backdrop of the first correction in global stock markets in two years.
Despite February’s market declines, attitudes towards investment actually improved in the month with the Investment Attitudes Index increasing to 104 from 95 in January. Thirty six percent of people said they were regularly investing in February – this is the strongest response since the index began in October 2017 and a big increase on the 30% of people who said they were investing in January.
The Savings Index remained unchanged in February at 103 with a small improvement in attitudes towards saving being offset by a small decline in sentiment towards the savings environment. The savings index has been stable for the past few months having enjoyed a consistent improvement through 2017.
The February data showed that half (49%) of people were regularly saving. The proportion of people saving as much or more than they should also increased to 54%, reversing the four percentage point decline in January. So it appears that savers are now more satisfied with the amounts they are saving.
Commenting on the Bank of Ireland Savings and investments Index, Tom McCabe, Bank of Ireland Investment Markets said, "The results were surprising as one would normally expect investment attitudes to weaken in the face of falling stock markets. The fact that the data still indicate we’re a nation of savers rather than investors could suggest that Irish people are less exposed to stock market volatility than in other countries and consequently don’t react as much to such periods."
He added, "It will be fascinating to see if this investor resilience persists next month, particularly in light of growing concerns about trade wars which could keep markets on edge in the short term."