And eight in ten Irish people are saving money, while another 14% polled said that they used to save but can not afford to set aside some money every month any longer.

Men, on average, also save €2,000 more than their female counterparts per annum, according to an EBS Building Society survey.

Respondents to the EBS Building Society's quarterly consumer savings sentiment research said they saved €319 every month - or €3,822 a year.

This is a 7% increase on the last quarter.

Savings have increased sharply over the last two years, as consumers try to build nest eggs to help cushion the blow of a potential job loss or increase in taxation.

Economists idenitfy this as a behavourial pattern that comes with recession.

There is now an estimated €100bn in savings in Ireland, a reflect

The research shows that men save about €2,000 more than women and people are increasingly dipping into their savings to fund day to day expenses.

But the EBS Consumer Savings Sentiment Research, conducted in late January, found the number of people that dipped into their savings to fund Christmas presents in 2010 had halved on the previous year.

In 2010 the poll found that one in every five people had dipped into savings to purchase Christmas presents, compared to just one in every ten in 2011.

The savings ethic is strong across all age groups and is especially pronounced in those aged between 14 and 24 years of age. Those aged 35-49 years are under some pressure, with three out of every five stating that they had to start using their savings to make up for lost income.