Consumers are confounding expectations by saving more.
Figures released by NS&I show that average monthly savings have been increasing over the past quarter, reaching £90.12 by the end of February. The monthly average for the whole of 2008 was £86.35.
Regular savers who put money aside each month increased their monthly savings from £193.34 in 2008 to £201.55 (December to February).
The NS&I poll revealed that 47% of respondents have upped their savings in case they need emergency money to see them through the worst of the recession.
A similar proportion of those polled, 46%, said that they were saving to pay for a holiday.
Saving for a house deposit. mortgage or home improvements accounted for 39% of responses.
On the negative side, 6% of the 12,000 surveyed said that they hadn’t saved at all over the last year, and 13% admitted to having no savings at all.
Dax Harkins of NS&I said: ‘It is clear that people are aware of the need to save more in these uncertain times and it is encouraging that, despite additional pressures on incomes, the average value of people’s savings was £17,443.’
Which? believes that the results show consumers are keen to put their money in institutions they consider safe. The increase in NS&I savings, also mirrored to an extent among building societies, also may be reflect a backlash against the banks.
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