Seasonal spending ousts pre-Christmas saving

31 October 2006
Britons' cash savings fell by 20 per cent for the third quarter of 2006 to reach a low for the year, according to Birmingham Midshires.

Jason Robinson, director of savings operations, suggested the figures for July to September may mean people have started their Christmas shopping early as they show UK consumers saved much less - an average £413 over the quarter.

It is not possible to assess whether the high spend in the third quarter will ease pressure on savings in the final quarter until October to December figures emerge in the new year.

But in 2005, October to December average savings were as high as £680.

An age-based analysis shows that since July, the under-thirties have saved only £295, while those in the 30-to-50 age group saved £464.

The over-50's total savings meanwhile average £16,000, against the under thirties' £3,000 average.

Gender-based breakdown of the figures shows that women have saved just £232 in the last quarter, while men have put away £612.

Differentiation among the regions is less acute, although variations show that Londoners saved most - £511 - while Scots accumulated savings of only £327.

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