British Lifestyles 2010 - Focusing on the Essentials - August 2010
Britain has emerged from the recession but is faced with a long and lingering period of uncertainty. Consumers remain wary about the future, and this is reflected in spending habits and attitudes about what is 'essential'.
With further cuts ahead, the general mindset is one of caution, with the biggest question of all being 'what next?'
However, there is positivity too - people seemed to have moved away from the fear that pervaded much of the last 12 months.
British Lifestyles 2010 examines a society in flux, looking at socio-demographic shifts, market sizes and forecasts, who was hit hardest by the economic downturn, and how people have reacted to their changing circumstances - for better or worse. And importantly the report looks ahead and suggests how and when recovery may come.
Key findings include:
- More people are worried about their jobs and employment prospects than last year.
- At the same time, fewer people are primarily concerned with the state of the economy.
- Financial pressures have eased to the extent that nearly one in four adults describe their financial positions as 'healthy'; but it is also worth noting that more than one third describe their situations as 'tight', are struggling or in trouble and a further 40% are just coping.
- Some 12% of consumers are spending nothing on non-essentials, with 35% describing themselves as 'very cautious', 30% as 'quite cautious', and only 5% as 'not at all cautious'.
Those who cut back during the recession are, it seems, continuing to do so - but for a recovery to take place with a firm grounding, these consumers need to spend more...or, at least, not carry on cutting back on spending.
With further struggle likely in the near future, how will people modify their behaviour and choices to adapt?
As Britain looks ahead, what incentives will consumers be given to start spending freely once more? Where will optimism for economic growth come from?
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