Savings reach four-year high

Saving in the UK has reached a four-year high, new figures from Halifax have shown.

Bank figures show that adults in the UK saved six per cent of their income in the first quarter of 2006, the highest figure since 2001.

The ratio is still well below the long-term saving average of 7.8 per cent, however.

The amount saved reached an all-time high in 1979 of 14.1 per cent but fell back to an all time low in 2004.

“The good news is that household savings are on a steady trend upwards,” said Halifax head of savings Peter Jackson.

“Longer term, the UK needs higher levels of savings to fund the retirement plans of an ageing population.

“Recent increases in savings, although relatively small, are a step in the right direction.”

The UK squirreled away £12.9 billion in the first quarter of 2006, the highest amount since the final three months of 1997.

Over the course of the last year, UK savers have put away £44.1 billion, an increase of more than 50 per cent on the year before.

Halifax claimed that the change in heart was as much to do with better terms available on the best savings account deals as a change in heart of the UK, however.

“The increase in the savings ratio in part reflects the growth in regular savings products which have become so popular with savers over the past 18 months,” Mr Jackson said.

“These products reward savers with very high rates of interest in return for saving on a regular monthly basis.”

© Adfero Ltd

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