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Irish household savings begin to rise sharply again

·1-min read
Cnoc An Iuir, an empty and unsold housing development, is pictured in the village of Drumshanbo

DUBLIN (Reuters) - Irish households set aside more money in July than during any month in the last year, central bank data showed on Wednesday, adding further to savings that have rocketed to record levels since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The growth in net household deposits began to slow earlier this year, with some savings unwound last December and this May, but have risen sharply in three of the last four months with 1.6 billion euros set aside in July alone.

Deposits have grown by 8 billion euros or 5.7% over the last 12 months to reach 147 billion euros, nearly one third higher than the level they stood at before the pandemic hit Ireland two-and-a-half years ago.

Separate central bank data showed that credit and debit card spending dropped month-on-month for the second successive month in July. The 2% fall was similar to recent dips seen in retail sales amid near 40-year high inflation.

(Reporting by Padraic Halpin; Editing by Gareth Jones)