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Fewer people are putting money into savings accounts due to their fears over the wider economic climate, a survey has shown.

The Nationwide Savings Index is said to be at its lowest since it began in June next year, as many people save their cash on a regular basis.

"Rising unemployment and falling income growth clearly make it difficult to save, while the low level of interest rates may have increased the incentive to prioritise debt reduction over deposit accumulation," commented Andy Hutchinson, head of savings at Nationwide.

He emphasised the need for people to rebuild their financial position, which should include looking to debt management plans to help clear existing problems.

The index found that 26 per cent of consumers save nothing at all, while 46 per cent are putting money away on a regular basis.

In May, the Nationwide Savings Index showed some signs of improvement, going up two points on the previous month.

It found that 56 per cent of people thought saving was important, with 16 per cent thinking it was the right time to save.

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