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No Comfort for Home Front Britain
added: 2011-02-21

It's tough out there: a quarter of Brits believe their jobs are less secure than a month ago. Over half expect their financial household situation to worsen in the next 12 months and the majority believe prices will rise in the next year.

That's according to the latest wave of the Household Economic Activity Tracker from Bloomberg//YouGov. Mike Nardis, Senior Vice President, Investment Products at YouGov, commented on the findings: "Consumer spending behaviour in the past 12 months has shown where our priorities lie: staying in and staying in touch are valued and worth our hard earned cash, but going out for meals, to clubs and bars, buying clothes and shoes and even stopping at the coffee shop are all off the menu. The outlook for the next 12 month is equally bleak."

Spend or save?

Spending on groceries and TV subscriptions increased over the past 12 months. Mobile phone spend was virtually untouched while Britons tightened their belts, as only a handful (4%) more people cut spending on phones than increased it. Investment in TV subscriptions rose across all age groups. Staying in - and staying in touch - are the new spending priorities. Dining out and buying clothes and shoes polarised the population - they appear on both sides of Table 1 (see above). Older people increased spend as younger consumers felt the squeeze.

Job Security: A thing of the past

Job security has become job insecurity, with the 18-35s in the strongest position, while the over-35s feel the least secure. On average, 26% of people feel less secure in their job this month compared to the last, while 69% saw no change.

Homeowners: It's Bleak House for Britain

While the past month was seen by many as a stagnant time for house prices, the pessimists still outweigh the optimists, with 28% saying they felt their property value had fallen in that time, and only 7% seeing an increase. In a fairly bleak outlook, Northern Ireland emerges as the most despondent, with 45% of homeowners expecting a fall in the value of their homes.

Coffee: latte goes super-skinny

Signs from the research show that Brits have called time on their expensive 'coffee to go' caffeine fix. 47% of coffee drinkers cut back on spending on coffee over the past 12 months.

TV Subscriptions: credit crunched Britons turn to the remote control Spending on TV subscriptions is the only media sector where consumers are spending significantly more across all age groups. Of applicable respondents, 55% are spending the same, and 19% have increased spend slightly - and another 4% significantly. The consumers leading this spending increase are those aged 55 and over (34% of applicable 55+s have increased spend). It may be a cliche but it's true - staying in watching the TV is the old 'new' going out.

Going to the movies: a third of cinema goers have cut back

British movie stars may be winning awards in Hollywood, but 48% of consumers who go to the movies have decreased their spending on the flicks. 41% are spending the same.

Eating out: Consumers take the knife to restaurant bills

Eating out has also fallen victim as a luxury we can't afford, with half (52%) of us spending less on eating out over the past 12 months. As with many other areas in the household, it is the hard-pressed 35-54 year olds, those earning under GBP30K, and parents with children (56%, 55%, and 58% respectively) who have given up the treat of eating out.

Source: PR Newswire

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