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Consumers struggle to save as disposable income drops

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28/05/2008

Just 28% of consumers think now is a good time to save, according to the latest savings indicator from Nationwide Building Society.

The society said rising fuel costs, increased food prices and reduced savings rates could be at the root of the current negative attitude to saving recorded among consumers. In addition, 46% of consumers think Government policy discourages them from saving.

The survey found 90% of consumers think saving is important and 66% think putting a regular amount away is very important. However, only 54% save regularly, 27% put money aside occasionally and 19% don’t save at all. Of those aged between 16 and 24 years of age, 58% are saving regularly, but 54% admit they are not saving as much as they should.

Looking ahead, 46% of people think they’ll be saving the same amount of money in six months’ time, with 23% planning to save more in the future than they do now. On the other hand, 27% of people thought they would be saving less.

Matthew Carter, director for savings at Nationwide, said: “Now is a particularly important time to save if consumers are to weather the storm. As the Governor of the Bank of England warns of harsher times, it’s worrying that while consumers have a will to save, they haven’t put this into action. This is not only a concern for savers, but also for the industry and the Government.

“We hope people have not lost confidence in saving over the longer term, but it is particularly encouraging to see that younger people place so much store in saving. However, it seems that higher living costs are hitting home and affecting consumers’ ability to save. We wait with interest to see how attitudes change over the next few months.”

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