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UK Consumers and the Economic Outlook: Quarterly market report

Everything you need to make the right decisions

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Consumers and the Economic Outlook - Quarterly Update market, and the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.

Mintel has the answers you’re looking for

What are the key challenges facing the industry and how fast are its rates of growth? Who is the consumer and what do they want? Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?

What you need to know

  • Mintel asks consumers about three elements of their financial well-being: how comfortable they are now; how that’s changed over the last year; and how confident they are about the coming year.
  • People’s assessment of their current financial situation is now approaching the survey high that we recorded just before the 2017 General Election.
  • 29% say that their finances are “healthy”, rising to 45% of retirees, and 62% of those with a household income of at least £75,000.
  • The familiar divides between different demographic groups are still there. 45-54-year-olds, lower earners and renters are all significantly more likely than the population as a whole to be finding it hard to make ends meet.
  • One in 10 45-54-year-olds say that they’re either struggling to make ends meet, or that they’re already in financial difficulty.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Toby Clark, a leading analyst in the Consumers sector, his extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

The increase in confidence that we discussed in Consumers and the Economic Outlook – UK – March 2018 clearly wasn’t a one-off. Our confidence data has been running for almost a decade now, and people’s assessments, both of their current financial situation and how they expect their finances to shape up over the coming year, are close to the highest levels we’ve ever seen. The contrast between this positivity and the broader concerns over the heath of the economy as a whole is as good an example as any of people’s tendency to focus on their own financial situation over big-picture economic news. Toby Clark
Directorof Research EMEA

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Table of contents

  1. Key Findings

      • Confidence starts at home
        • Real wages are finally moving in the right direction
          • Not everyone is prospering
            • Spending plans reflect consumers’ confidence
              • Key economic indicators
                • Figure 1: Key economic indicators, June 2018
            • Current Financial Situation

              • What you need to know
                • Financial well-being is back to pre-election levels
                  • Figure 2: “How would you generally describe your financial situation at the moment?”, May 2018
                  • Figure 3: The financial well-being index, January 2015-May 2018
                • Generation X are feeling the pressure
                  • Figure 4: Financial well-being, by generation, May 2018
              • Changes in Financial Situation

                • What you need to know
                  • The improvement in finances has slowed – but people are still in positive territory
                    • Figure 5: “How would you describe your finances compared to a year ago?”, May 2018
                  • An end to falling living standards?
                    • Figure 6: Changes in household finances, January 2015-May 2018
                  • Inflation is still a threat to older generations
                  • Financial Confidence

                    • What you need to know
                      • Consumers are optimistic about what the coming year will bring
                          • Figure 7: “And how do you feel about your financial situation over the next year or so?”, May 2018
                        • Mintel’s confidence index is at its highest point
                          • Figure 8: The financial confidence index, January 2015-May 2018
                        • Higher earners think that they are insulated from economic uncertainty…
                          • …as do retirees
                          • Planned Financial and Spending Activity

                            • What you need to know
                              • Saving intentions take a hit
                                • Figure 9: “Thinking about how you spend your money, which of the following have you done over the last three months? And which of you plan to do over the next three months?”, May 2018
                              • Year-on-year spending plans are up
                                • Figure 10: The financial activity index, June 2012-May 2018
                              • Higher earners and Younger Millennials are still the main engines of consumer spending