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Consumers and the Economic Outlook - Quarterly Update - UK - August 2018

“Consumers continue to worry about the impact Brexit will have on the UK economy. But people are still focussing much more on their own financial situations, which are currently in a pretty healthy state. The base rate rise will make it harder for some, but the general outlook is positive as long as employment figures stay strong.”
– Rich Shepherd, Senior Financial Services Analyst

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Table of contents

  1. Key Findings

      • Things aren’t looking good on the Brexit front…
        • …but people are still feeling pretty positive about themselves
          • A mixed result for the high street
            • Key economic indicators
              • Figure 1: Key economic indicators, August 2018
          • Consumers’ Response to the EU Referendum Result

            • What you need to know
              • Worries over Brexit have grown in 2018
                  • Figure 2: Level of concern over the impact of the EU referendum, July 2016-July 2018
                • The cost of living continues to be the biggest cause for concern
                    • Figure 3: Consumer views on the impact of the EU referendum on the UK economy, July 2018
                  • Personal circumstances are key
                      • Figure 4: Consumer views on the impact of the EU referendum on the UK economy, personal factors, by current financial situation, July 2018
                  • Current Financial Situation

                    • What you need to know
                      • Most people are getting by
                        • Figure 5: “How would you generally describe your financial situation at the moment?”, July 2018
                      • Sentiment has slipped, but is still historically high
                        • Figure 6: The financial well-being index, January 2015-July 2018
                      • Half of lower-earners are hard-up
                        • Figure 7: Current financial situation, by annual household income, July 2018
                    • Changes in Financial Situation

                      • What you need to know
                        • A mix of fortunes…
                          • Figure 8: “How would you describe your finances compared to a year ago?”, July 2018
                        • …but household finances are generally improving
                          • Figure 9: Changes in household finances, January 2015-July 2018
                        • City-dwellers surging ahead
                          • Figure 10: Changes in household finances, by area where people live, July 2018
                        • Half of households earning £75,000 or more are better off
                        • Financial Confidence

                          • What you need to know
                            • The vast majority are looking forward with optimism…
                              • …and the August interest rate rise is unlikely to significantly shift sentiment
                                • Figure 11: “And how do you feel about your financial situation over the next year?”, July 2018
                              • Sentiment has stabilised at record levels
                                • Figure 12: The financial confidence index, January 2015-July 2018
                              • Brexit blues dampen confidence, but only so far
                                • Figure 13: Financial confidence, by consumer views on the impact of the EU referendum on personal and macroeconomic factors, July 2018
                            • Planned Financial and Spending Activity

                              • What you need to know
                                • Financial activity reached a four-year high in June
                                  • Figure 14: The financial activity index, January 2015-July 2018
                                • Planned saving remains low
                                  • Figure 15: “Thinking about how you spend your money, which of the following have you done over the last three months? And which do you plan to do over the next three months?”, July 2018
                                • Under-45s much more likely to be active in the next three months
                                  • Figure 16: Planned financial activity in the next three months, by age, July 2018

                              Consumers and the Economic Outlook - Quarterly Update - UK - August 2018

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