The proportion of people who say they are saving money regularly fell sharply in August according to the latest monthly Savings Index from Nationwide UK (Ireland). During the month the proportion of regular savers fell from 41% to 36%.

Brendan Synnott, managing director of Nationwide UK (Ireland), says that despite the fall in August, the overall trend regarding savings is still positive. Mr Synnott says that with the improving economy, people are getting back to a stage where they now actually have a choice over what to do with their disposable income. He also notes a trend where people are starting to save for longer term goals. Consumers are now getting to a point where they also have the ability to spend again, which is good for the overall economy, he says. 

On the recent ECB rate cuts, the Nationwide UK (Ireland) boss says the rate is now so low it won't really impact on people's decision to save. The strong desire among Irish people to save is also worth noting, he added. Looking ahead to next month's Budget, Mr Synnott says he is not expecting any new measures from the Government on savings, adding that a spend-save balance in needed in the country to return to a more normalised economy. He says that the regular saver had almost disappeared from the economy in recent years, but is now making a return.

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Drinks group Diageo, the owner of the Guinness and Baileys brands among many others, today opens Brewhouse No. 4 at St James' Gate in Dublin. It has spent €169m on the new brewery. The company has closed a number of sites and cut costs and jobs in Ireland in recent years but Paul Armstrong, Diageo supply director and head of the new brewery, said this investment will secure employment in Dublin.

Mr Armstrong said the new brewery at the St James' Gate site will also secure the site as a fundamental part of Diageo's beer business - 35% of Diageo's global beer is now produced in Dublin. 70% of the beer made in Dublin is exported by the company, while Mr Armstrong also says the Dublin brewery makes the Guinness flavour essence, which is shipped to 50 countries around the world.

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MORNING BRIEFS - Apple shares fell following the launch of the latest iPhone and the Apple Watch yesterday evening.
But that is nothing new - Apple shares have fallen in the day and even over the month following most of its biggest product launches.The company's shares average a 5.2% gain in the run up to any launch but also averages a 1.8% drop in the month after each announcement. Those figures cover the period from 2007 - the launch of the first iPhone up to 2013 when the iPad Air was launched. Companies which make some of the products used in Apple devices also fell. Tokyo Japan Display slipped 1.8% and Foster Electric lost 0.6%, while in Taipei Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing dipped 1.6% and display maker Largan Precision sank 1.2%.