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2006 'bumper year for saving'

Britons saved £25 billion more in 2006 than they did in the previous 12 months, according to a new survey.Financial adviser website Unbiased says that in the last year a total of £136 billion was put away for a rainy day, compared to £111 in 2005.In addition, today's research reveals that levels of debt are showing signs of slowing, with the average UK resident borrowing 40p for every pound in 2006, 12p less than in the previous year.David Elms, chief executive of Unbiased, said: "The news that UK consumers are breaking records for saving is very encouraging, but the fact remains that the good work is wasted because debt continues to rise."During the final quarter of 2006, Britons saved £39 million alone, a 16 per cent rise against the preceding three months, but Mr Elms says a savings rate of 40p per pound is still a "far less promising story"."Personal debt in the UK continues to rise and, as such, all the conscientious effort being made on the savings side is being undone by continued increasing usage of credit cards, loans and overdrafts," he concluded.

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