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Consumers and the Economic Outlook - UK - June 2019

“The closer we got to the planned Brexit Day, the more worried people became about the impact it’d have on the UK’s economy. With the delay to Brexit, these concerns seem to have melted away. People are far more relaxed about what Brexit will mean for both their own finances and for the broader economy.
“What’s really striking, though, is how strong consumer confidence is. Even when people were dealing with pre-Brexit jitters in March, they were still confident about their own financial situation. Now that Brexit has been put on hold until October, confidence has risen even further.
Short-term, this is all positive for anyone operating in consumer-facing markets. There are few signs that people are cutting expenditure. But there is a fine line between confidence and complacency. There is a real danger that too few consumers have the financial resilience that’d let them negotiate even a relative short period of economic disruption.”
– Toby Clark, Director of Research EMEA

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Table of contents

  1. Key Findings

      • Confidence is at a post-recession high…
        • …reflecting rising real wages and low unemployment
          • Spending intentions are holding up well
            • People are significantly more optimistic about the impact of Brexit
              • But…how long can the good times last?
                • Key economic indicators
                  • Figure 1: Key economic indicators, June 2019
              • Consumers’ Response to the EU Referendum Result

                • What you need to know
                  • A dramatic improvement in Brexit-related sentiment
                      • Figure 2: Overall level of concern over the impact of the EU referendum, July 2016-May 2019
                    • A fundamental shift in opinions, or just a temporary reprieve?
                        • Figure 3: Consumer views on the impact of the EU referendum on the UK economy, May 2019
                      • More evidence of a divided nation
                      • Current Financial Situation

                        • What you need to know
                          • A third of people say that their financial situation is healthy
                              • Figure 4: “How would you generally describe your financial situation at the moment?”, May 2019
                            • Sentiment hits a post-recession high…
                              • Figure 5: The financial well-being index, January 2015-May 2019
                            • …but a demographic analysis shows that for some, austerity is still having an impact
                            • Changes in Financial Situation

                              • What you need to know
                                • Three in ten people say their finances have improved over the last year
                                  • Figure 6: “How would you describe your finances compared to a year ago?”, May 2019
                                • A reverse to the downward trend
                                  • Figure 7: Changes in household finances, January 2015-May 2019
                                • The link between improving household finances and employment status
                                • Financial Confidence

                                  • What you need to know
                                    • A new high for Mintel’s financial confidence index
                                      • Figure 8: “And how do you feel about your financial situation over the next year?”, May 2019
                                      • Figure 9: The financial confidence index, January 2015-May 2019
                                    • Over-65s lead the way
                                    • Planned Financial and Spending Activity

                                      • What you need to know
                                        • Both past and planned financial activity measures are holding up well…
                                          • …reflecting “real world” retail sales figures
                                            • Figure 10: The financial activity index, January 2015-May 2019
                                            • Figure 11: “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?”, May 2019

                                        Consumers and the Economic Outlook - UK - June 2019

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