UK Consumers and the Economic Outlook – Summer 2021
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“The end of social distancing and the associated boost to retail, leisure and entertainment spend brought about an immediate rebound in economic activity, and GDP grew by 4.8% in Q2…

UK Consumers and the Economic Outlook – Summer 2021

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“The end of social distancing and the associated boost to retail, leisure and entertainment spend brought about an immediate rebound in economic activity, and GDP grew by 4.8% in Q2 2021. Consumers have also responded positively, with Mintel’s current financial wellbeing and financial confidence trackers reaching new record-highs in June.

This increase in consumer confidence had an immediate impact on consumer savings levels, and on credit spending. The amount that people saved fell sharply, although it does still remain well above pre-pandemic levels. The Bank of England estimated that by the end of June 2021, consumers would have around £250 billion more in savings than would have been expected had COVID never hit, potentially translating to a mini-consumer boom in the coming months.”

–   Rich Shepherd, Category Director – B2B, Social and Economic Research

Table of Contents

  1. Key Findings

    • Easing restrictions saw GDP return to growth in Q2
    • Inflation fell back in July to temporarily ease price concerns
    • A note on average wage growth data
    • Consumer sentiment continues to set new records
    • Key economic indicators
      • Figure 1: Key economic indicators, 2021
  2. Consumers’ Response to the EU Referendum Result

    • What you need to know
    • Positivity over the impact of Brexit plateaued over the summer
      • Figure 2: Level of concern over the impact of the EU referendum, 2016-21
    • Most see Brexit as a non-factor in their personal finances
      • Figure 3: Consumer views on the impact of the EU referendum, 2021
    • COVID-19 continues to blur the impacts of Brexit
  3. Current Financial Situation

    • What you need to know
    • Record-high financial wellbeing, again
      • Figure 4: The financial wellbeing index, 2016-21
    • Four fifths say they have healthy or OK finances
      • Figure 5: “How would you generally describe your financial situation at the moment?”, 2021
    • Positivity in all income groups but inequalities grow
      • Figure 6: Current financial situation, by gross annual household income, 2020-21
  4. Changes in Financial Situation

    • What you need to know
    • Household finances continued to rebound as the economy reopened…
      • Figure 7: Changes in household finances, 2016-21
    • …but almost a quarter still feel worse off
      • Figure 8: “How does your own financial situation compare to how it was a year or so ago?”, 2021
    • Property price rises bring good news for homeowners
      • Figure 9: Changes in household finances, by housing situation, 2021
  5. Financial Confidence

    • What you need to know
    • Financial confidence has continued to rise
      • Figure 10: The financial confidence index, 2016-21
    • Almost 90% think they should be fine over the next year
      • Figure 11: “And how do you feel about your financial situation over the next year or so?”, 2021
    • Women are less confident for the year ahead
      • Figure 12: Financial confidence, by gender and age, 2021
  6. Planned Financial and Spending Activity

    • What you need to know
    • Financial activity is returning to ‘normal’
      • Figure 13: The financial activity index, 2016-21
    • Holidays on the up but held back by complex foreign travel rules
      • Figure 14: “Which of the following have you done over the last 3 months? And which do you plan to do over the next 3 months?”, 2021
    • Saving is still the top activity

About the report

This market report provides in-depth analysis and insight supported by a range of data. At the same time, introductory and top-level content is provided to give you an overview of the issues covered.


Mintel provides a range of market information, frequently through the category level, including market size and forecasting, complete with market drivers that illustrate the forces that shape a category or market.


Mintel’s proprietary consumer research provides our analysts with the attitudinal and behavioral data used to provide valuable insight to topical issues.


Mintel provides overviews of the top brands and manufacturers, and uses consumer research to explore attitudes and reactions to brands, as well as insight into what will resonate with consumers.


Market reports provide appendices of data to support the research and insight produced. Our databooks* are easily manipulated and downloadable to support your research needs and covers factors from consumer attitudes to market forecasts.

*databooks not available with UK B2B Industry reports.

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