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More people investing as savings appetite slows

More people are now investing than at any time since 2017, as consumers seek an alternative to low returns on cash.

That's according to the Bank of Ireland Savings & Investment Index which started in 2017.

It shows that the number of people investing regularly rose to 37% in the third quarter of the year, up from 36% in the previous quarter.

Meanwhile, enthusiasm for saving continues to wane, with just 44% of consumers in the September survey saying it is a good time to save - the lowest since February 2020.

The overall Savings and Investment Index, which had registered a marked increase over the past year, dipped slightly in the third quarter to 102, compared to 104 in the the second quarter, as the Savings index weakened while the Investment index held steady.

While the percentage of people who thought it was a good time to invest declined to 33% in the third quarter from 36% in the previous quarter, the data points out that the figure remains higher than the 23% recorded in pre-pandemic surveys.

37% felt it would be a better time to invest in six months, and this figure has remained above pre-pandemic levels for the third quarter in a row.

"The normalisation in everyday life as restrictions ease is feeding through into how people view their savings and investment plans," said Kevin Quinn, Chief Investment Strategist at Bank of Ireland.

"There is perhaps less of a cautionary motivation to save and also a recognition that zero/near zero interest rates are providing less rewarding outcomes for savers," he added.

Mr Quinn said more people are investing as the so-called 'TINA' (There Is No Alternative) effect prompts a move away from cash towards investments in the search for better returns.

"These findings are consistent with the path to a more normal, post-pandemic environment and I expect these trends to continue in the months ahead, even if the changes we are seeing in the investment environment make for more headwinds," he added

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