More Britons are saving on a regular basis, but they are each saving a bit less, according to latest figures published by National Savings & Investments (NS&I).
Its quarterly savings survey covering the September-November period suggests overall savings per head per month went up compared to the same period one year ago, from £81.80 to £91.82.
However, the amount saved as a proportion of income remained steady at 7.15%, despite the proportion of regular savers rising to 58% from 54% of the population.
And among those regularly saving, the average monthly amount of about £170 is down from £174 in the same period last year.
NS&I suggests one reason for the improvement in the number of regular savers is down to monetary policy tightening up interest rates – which encourages savings.
It admits, however, this may also take the form of an increased burden for those with debt. A rise in ad-hoc savings is seen as possibly being linked to a decrease in high street sales growth during the autumn.
Average savings as of the period were about £17,909, excluding pensions, up from about £16,970 during the same quarter last year.
Further interest rate rises – widely predicted in the City – could stimulate another step change in savings, NS&I suggests.
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