A new reports show that consumers have begun to save less and spend more as the economy re-opens from the Covid-19 enforced restrictions. 

Bank of Ireland's latest Savings and Investment Index reveals the changing attitudes of Irish consumers as the lockdown continues to ease.

The index shows that compared to the months of total lockdown when savings increased significantly, less people are saving "by default" and a series of factors are influencing a normalisation. 

Bank of Ireland said that as the economy re-opens there is more opportunity to spend and less surplus income from measures such as Covid-19 payment schemes and mortgage breaks.

This is resulting in a return to more normalised patterns of expenditure, it added.

Meanwhile, when it comes to investing, consumers are continuing to invest but their attitude to investing is back to pre-Covid levels.

Bank of Ireland noted that has occurred during a very profitable period for investors, with global equity markets now effectively back to January 1 levels.  

Consumer confidence has fallen back lately and the survey results illustrate a heightened concern about the impact of a second wave of Covid-19 on the health and well-being of people's families, it added.

The overall Bank of Ireland Savings and Investment Index, which gauges attitudes to savings and investing, decreased by 4% in the third quarter compared to the previous quarter, falling from 100 to 96. 

There was a drop in both savings and investment sentiment, with the Savings Index falling to 101 in the three months from July to September from 106 in the second quarter and the Investment index falling from 94 to 90.

Kevin Quinn, Chief Investment Strategist at Bank of Ireland Investment Markets, said that as the country has begun the process of re-opening, there has been a very understandable shift in attitudes to both saving and investing. 

"Following the resilience shown in the second quarter, our survey data has reverted back towards pre-Covid levels. Attitudes to savings have weakened as might be expected as consumers began to spend again and the effect of income supports begins to fade," Mr Quinn said. 

"Equally we've seen attitudes to investing weaken somewhat despite some very impressive gains in particular in equity markets over the past three months, with many hitting new highs. The main explanation for this rests in the most significant concern being voiced by respondents - worries about the impact of a second wave of Covid-19," he added.