UK consumers remain anxious

20 January 2011

LONDON: Many consumers in the UK are anxious about their personal financial circumstances, suggesting a willingness to avoid big-ticket purchases.

Insurance provider Aviva and The Wriglesworth Consultancy drew on data from 2,000 families, and found 40% of households failed to save money on a monthly basis.

A further 39% of respondents were under such budgetary pressure that they could not consider taking on any additional financial commitments.

Looking ahead six months, 57% stated the rising costs of necessities constituted a primary concern, a figure hitting 54% when projecting forward five years.

Totals stood at 45% and 49% respectively regarding unemployment, and reached 39% and 37% in turn for the prospect of facing "unexpected expenses."

The average debt on a credit card, loan or overdraft now stands at £5,360 ($8,585; €6,357), and a third of residences have no savings to cover emergencies.

Elsewhere, the median family income was reported to be £1,937, spending around 10% on food, 8% on debt repayments, 6% on fuel and lighting, and 5% on motoring.

"In today's society, some families are struggling to make ends meet," said Louise Colley, Aviva's head of protection marketing.

"While it is encouraging to see that most families are trying to save something every month, it is clear that other demands on their finances mean this amount remains below what is needed to guarantee a secure financial future."

Data sourced from Aviva; additional content by Warc staff