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Nationwide savings index hits highest level since 2008

16 October 2009 / by Andy Davies

Nationwide's saving indices appear to have recovered from last month's falls as its Savings Index has now reached its highest level since November 2008.

Since August, the building society's main Savings Index, which analyses consumer opinions towards savings, has increased by 10 points to 87 points for September.

Meanwhile, the Importance of Savings Index now stands at 91 points following a five point increase, as 20 per cent of consumers – an increase of four per cent since August, believe now is a good time to save given the current economic situation.

The survey found that 17 per cent of people think that Government policies have encouraged consumers to save. However, a large majority of people are still not convinced the Government is doing enough to rectify the economic situation, with 48 per cent disagreeing.

According to the Future Savings Index, 21 per cent of people now believe they will be saving more in six months' time than they do now, which represents an increase of three per cent over the past month, as the index saw the biggest change with a 16 point increase, taking the index to 121 points.

Commenting on the figures, Andy Hutchinson, head of savings at Nationwide said: "We believe that the strong rise in the Savings Index reflects the parallel bounce in the overall feel of consumer confidence in September and it will be particularly interesting next month to see the impact of the recent ISA changes for the over-50s."

Mr Hutchinson suggests consumers may be more confident about saving because they believe the recession is coming to an end, but he stresses this 'positive sentiment may be premature'.

"While the latest increases recorded across the savings indices are encouraging, the falls seen last month serve as a reminder that we should remain cautious because the market may not yet have stabilised," he added.

© Fair Investment Company Ltd