The current economic difficulties are affecting how much UK consumers are able to save, but putting funds aside is still considered to be important and worthwhile.
People are more pessimistic about how regularly they are able to save than at any time in the last year, according to the Nationwide Savings Index.
The fall in the index, which dropped by three points in May to 72, has been attributed to consumers' concerns about the frequency they can put money away. Over a quarter (26 per cent) saves nothing at all, with under half (46 per cent) making regular savings.
Six in ten admit to saving less than they need to, compared to 56 per cent six months ago.
However, there is a clear recognition among consumers of the benefits of saving money. In fact, the Importance of Savings Index increased markedly, by some 11 points.
Almost two thirds of people now consider saving to be generally important and consumers are becoming more confident about their ability to save in the future. The Future Savings Index, which measures the number of people who expect to save more in six months time, has increased by ten points.
"This month's Savings Index provides further evidence that consumers continue to find the environments enabling them to save are unfavourable," said Andy Hutchinson, head of savings.
"However, there is some good news in the savings market. Consumers' confidence in their ability to adequately save in six months' time has increased by ten points and the Importance of Savings Index increased by 11 points, as more people see the necessity of boosting their savings."
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