Bank of Ireland has today released its latest Savings and Investment Index which is produced quarterly from a nationally representative sample of 1,000 consumers aged 16 years and above. The fieldwork took place from 1st -14th May.
Set against the backdrop of the Covid-19 lockdown, the index shows slightly more people saving regularly in the second quarter and a significant spike in people thinking it’s a good or very good time to save.
With less options for spending, the Savings Index rose to its second highest level since the index started in 2017. However, the Index also shows that attitudes are likely to shift again with less people seeing the need for saving in 6 months’ time, which may indicate a rise in spending as the reopening progresses.
In what was a very volatile period for investing with equity markets dropping by 30% and recovering almost all of these losses in a matter of weeks, attitudes to investing understandably became quite divided. The second quarter Investment Index saw an increase in those saying they saw it as a good time to invest, while there was also an increase amongst those who saw it as a bad time to invest.
Somewhat surprisingly, Bank of Ireland say there was a significant increase in our optimism about retirement, perhaps a consequence of people having had time and space to reflect on their futures.
Commenting on the index, Bank of Ireland Investment Markets, Kevin Quinn said, "The challenges and difficulties we have faced as a country in the past quarter have been met with great resilience and it appears that this is reflected in how we view our finances also. Attitudes to savings have strengthened as might be expected during a period of economic strain of this kind – less spending saw an increase in cash balances for some and those who could afford to put cash aside. With greater uncertainty, the precautionary reason for saving has also come to the fore, and we’ve seen an increase in those who think it’s a good time to save in the short-term."