Pedestrians cross a street in Wan Chai while a "ding ding" tram moves slowly along the track. (JAE C. HONG / AP)
Hong Kong residents are saving more money monthly this year compared with last year due to inflation and wage increases, but fewer people are setting aside cash, according to a survey conducted by the Hong Kong Deposit Protection Board (HKDPB).
The survey released on Wednesday showed that the average monthly savings of Hong Kong people is 7 percent more than last year's, with the median being HK$5,000 ($639).
We see a decline in the percentage of regular savers compared with 2018, and an increasing number of people said they do not have a specific savings target. It might reflect that despite a higher level of understanding on the importance of savings, many people may not have actual plans or actions to increase their savings and sense of security
Michael Hui King-man
chairman of Hong Kong Deposit Protection Board
HKDPB Chairman Michael Hui King-man said he could not confirm whether the rising amount of monthly savings has anything to do with the downbeat outlook of the economy, which has been hit hard by Sino-US trade tensions and local social unrest. But the connection is possible, he added.
Although the amount of monthly savings has gone up, fewer people are actually saving money. Only 65 percent of respondents said they are saving money this year, a drop from last year’s 70 percent.
“We see a decline in the percentage of regular savers compared with 2018, and an increasing number of people said they do not have a specific savings target,” Hui said.
“It might reflect that despite a higher level of understanding on the importance of savings, many people may not have actual plans or actions to increase their savings and sense of security,” he added.
The respondents said they perceived a need for HK$780,000 in savings, a slight increase from last year, to acquire a sufficient sense of security and maintain their current standard of living.
Among them, those younger than 30 believed they need just HK$490,000 in savings, which implies that young people need a smaller amount of financial reserves due to less apprehension.
“Young people still have a long way to go before they retire. That’s why they have a lower target. But it’s better than their having no target,” Hui said.
The survey was conducted by the HKDPB and Hong Kong Public Opinion Research Institute. It quizzed a total of 1,000 Hong Kong respondents 18 or older across the city by telephone from Aug 6-22.
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