Deposits made by Irish households fell by €1.4bn in November as consumers loosened their purse strings and increased their spending in the run-up to Christmas.

This was the biggest monthly drop in household deposits since 2010, the Central Bank said, and contrasts with the significant growth in savings by consumers since the Covid-19 pandemic began in March of 2020.

But the newly released data also shows that in the year to November, household deposits did still rise by €11bn net or 8.8%.

However, this represents a further slowing of the annual rate of increase in savings, which peaked at 14% in February.

When it came to loans, net lending to households increased by €224m in November and by €752m or 0.9% in annual terms.

This represents a continuation of the positive growth recorded in recent months, the Central Bank said.

It also contrasts with the €85m fall in net lending in the year to the end of November of 2020 – a further sign that economic activity is improving again.

There was also a €155m increase in loans for house purchases during the month.

This was the six month in a row where lending levels among house buyers grew.

Consumer lending rose by €81m during the month and by €41 million or 0.3% on an annual basis.

This marked the first time since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic that consumer lending had increased on a 12-month rolling basis.