Shoppers remain reticent to spend in UK

08 September 2010

LONDON: Many consumers in the UK remain more likely to save than spend, while also displaying a pronounced willingness to cut back on food and eating out where necessary.

Sky News, the broadcaster, surveyed 1,000 adults in the country to gain an understanding of their individual circumstances, attitudes and preferences.

A majority agreed their personal financial situation had depreciated in the last year, and anxiety about the future was equally widespread.

Nearly two-thirds of the panel knew at least one person who had been made redundant in the previous 12 months, and 54% of respondents that were still employed felt less secure.

Elsewhere, 30% of participants did not have any debt, although 20% now owed greater amounts than at the same time in 2009.

A third of contributors with monetary worries suggested they had experienced symptoms such an insomnia and "moodiness".

When asked if shoppers should be encouraged to boost their outlay to overcome the recession, 58% thought it "makes more sense to tighten our belts and save what we can," and 20% were unsure.

In identifying the areas in which they would be most prepared to trim budgets, food came top of the list, followed by holidays and out-of-home dining.

Pets and broadband subscriptions were the two things people proved least enthusiastic about giving up, according to the study.

"Many ... respondents indicated increasing concern over the impact that the current economic climate is having on their financial situation," Michael Garland, a research analyst, said.

"Uncertainty surrounding job security, combined with rising costs for commodities such as food and drink, petrol, and electricity and gas have led to money worries for many, with some reporting increased insomnia, moodiness and even ill health as a result."

Data sourced from Sky News; additional content by Warc staff