4 out of 5 Britons cut back to cope with rising costs

Posted on May 2nd, 2011 | Categories - News

As food and fuel prices continue to rise at a steady pace, a new survey has revealed that 4 out of 5 Britons have changed their spending patterns over the last 12 months.

Insolvency group R3 found that the majority of the people in the UK have cut back their spending habits on non-essential items to cope with rising costs and inflation. In addition to cutting back, the study also found that people are now more likely to shop around and buy ‘value’ products than they were 12 months ago.

The research found that it was women who were more likely to hold back on buying non-essential, luxury items than men – 58% of women admitted to cutting back compared with 44% of men. The survey also found that it was women again who were more likely to shop around than their male counterparts – 52% of women admitted to scouring the market for the best deal compared to 42% of men.

“Over the last year people have seen the cost of living increase at a time when their pay has been frozen, cut or in the worst scenarios they have lost their jobs. People are uncertain about what the future holds financially and the most natural response is to be cautious. Consumers have tightening their belts and are looking for ways to reduce monthly out-goings,” commented R3 President Frances Coulson.

The survey comes as consumer confidence in the UK hit a new low earlier this week. On Wednesday the Gfk NOP index dropped three points to -13; a whole 15 points lower than this time last year. The last time the index hit this figure was at the start of the 1990s and in mid 2008 at the heart of the recession.

Experts say the figures point towards “a growing gloom” and show that consumer confidence has entered a “worrying area”.