16 Feb 2009

Debt being repaid and savings boosted

6:45 am on 16 February 2009

People are repaying debt and boosting savings as the recession bites in New Zealand.

Reserve Bank figures show savings rising markedly during the past year, from $86 billion to $95 billion.

The money has come from sales of assets and reduced spending. It's being seen largely as a positive development after years of borrowing and spending.

But financial journalist Bernard Hickey says there are concerns that increased saving could damage the effectiveness of Government stimulus packages, if people use any extra money to pay off debt and increase savings instead of buying goods and boosting demand and jobs.

Meanwhile, new information shows the number of forced sales of houses has increased dramatically in the last year.