Britons have been saving more over the last five years - despite having to contend with economic turbulence, including the longest recession in the country's history, new findings suggest.
The NS&I savings survey, which examined the savings behaviour of 50,000 Britons since 2004, shows an overall increase in the amount people have set aside over the last five years.
Whereas five years ago the average monthly amount saved per head was £70.23, that number has shot up this year to £83.87 - its highest level since the survey began. Just under half of the population (47%) are now saving regularly, a slight increase from the 2005 figure of 45%.
Furthermore, despite severe upheaval in the financial markets over the last 18 months, the amount saved as a percentage of income remained stable in 2008 and 2009 at 6.06%. In 2005 the figure was 6.02%.
The upward savings trend since 2004 has taken place despite turbulent economic conditions.
"The data shows a year-on-year growth despite recent economic conditions, including well documented pay freezes," says the NS&I.
The figures are that much more surprising given the fact that interest rates have plummeted over the last five years and stock markets have taken a battering. In 2005, the Bank of England base rate was at 4.5%, compared to today's historical low of 0.5%.
Although results have to be tempered against the fact that as a percentage of income, savings have stayed relatively constant, they nonetheless suggest Britons have responded frugally to the challenges brought particularly over the last couple of years.
The survey also suggests the historical north-south savings divide no longer exists. Data shows London and Scotland are the regional hotspots whilst the South West and North East have struggled.
A gender divide is also apparent, with men saving more than women over the past five years.
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