LONDON: Brits may be gloomy about the state of the economy and feeling the financial pinch but a majority prefer to splash out today rather than save for later, a new survey suggests.

When research agency Future Thinking polled 2,000 UK adults, it found that two-thirds (66%) were downbeat about the economic outlook for the country, while almost half (47%) admitted they were financially stretched.

At the same time, however, 60% indicated they would rather spend now than save, while a fifth (21%) were unwilling to forego luxuries.

This attitude has particular implications for the leisure industry. Some 82% of respondents, for example, signalled they would be visiting pubs and bars, up 4% on a similar survey conducted in 2017; and 76% expected to go to the cinema, up 5% on 2017.

Further afield, 28% will take a two-week break in 2018, up marginally on 2017, but nearly 20% expect to spend more on their holidays this year.

Accommodation represented a key area where people are prepared to spoil themselves: the proportion of consumers worried about their spending in this area has dropped 7% year-on-year. The survey also noted a 10% decrease in those worrying about the cost of travel.

“It would seem that after almost a decade of austerity, many members of the public want to start treating themselves again,” observed Noreen Kinsey, senior research director at Future Thinking.

“This isn’t to say Brits are becoming irresponsible,” she added. “We don’t mind spending a little more, but we do want value for money.”

Thus, two thirds of respondents said they look for offers and vouchers when planning holidays and days out, up 5% on 2017.

“Businesses such as Center Parcs and in the leisure sector that are able to attract customers through mass market promotional activity and discounts, whilst still offering first-class experiences are in a strong position in 2018,” Kinsey suggested.

Sourced from Future Thinking; additional content by WARC staff