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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

      • 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