There has been an improvement in consumer attitudes towards saving in the past month, according to the latest Nationwide UK (Ireland) / ESRI Savings Index.

The index, which measures people’s opinions on the saving environment as well as their attitude toward savings, rose five points to 102 in March.

This was driven largely by an increase in positivity towards savings amongst the over 50s.

The index is now back at levels seen before a number of measures were introduced in Budget 2014 that might have been considered discouraging towards saving.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, Brendan Synnott of Nationwide said people were disappointed with tax increases, as well as a general lowering of interest rates, but were now coming to terms with the situation.

"There was a level of apathy setting in with over 50s,” he said. “They are constantly hit and now they are at an acceptance level and they're going to get on with it."

Amongst those under 50, Mr Synnott said their savings behaviour was largely dictated by the day-to-day demands they face.

"We had seen people saving for specific reasons, like a deposit for a house, but prices are now moving out of their reach again so they're not comfortable with the way the property market is going."

Many of their counterparts are also servicing very large debts having bought property in the boom, while some are moving off fixed rates onto variable rates.