Household deposits continued to grow in May and stood at a record €131.5 billion at the end of the month, according to the Central Bank.

However, the pace of growth in savings has eased somewhat.

In May of 2020, households in Ireland collectively put €1.5 billion euro into bank, credit union and post office accounts.

This May, that amount had fallen to €587 million as restrictions were lifted and the economy gradually reopened.

Those who were fortunate enough to have been able to continue working through the pandemic, without suffering any loss in pay, put aside record deposits throughout the pandemic.

It's hoped that some of those savings will be released to drive the recovery in the domestic economy in the months ahead.

Lending to consumers saw a net increase of €25 million in May, according to the Central Bank figures.

That was the first positive net flow since December.

Despite this, the annual growth rate in the year to the end of May remained negative, with consumer lending decreasing by €367 million, or 3.1%.