Spring Budget 2023: our experts comment on consumer markets measures

15 Mar 2023

Lisa Hooker, Leader of Industry for Consumer Markets at PwC comments on the Spring Budget announcement:

“Today’s announcement has much welcome news for consumers. With inflation expected to come down to 2.9%, it means the real income growth will start recovering in the second half of the year - welcome relief for holidays and summer spending. Frozen fuel and alcohol duty continuing until August is also welcome, along with the extension of the Energy Price Guarantee. Pubs and brewers will benefit from the Draught Relief that will also kick in for the summer season. The news on childcare and encouragement back to work will also provide incentivisation to many which will help with the overall labour shortage across the consumer markets industry.

However, the good news for businesses in our sector was limited. There was no overhaul of rates like many retail and hospitality businesses had hoped, no reinstatement of the much needed VAT retail export scheme and no further help with energy costs for businesses, which disproportionately affects many retail and leisure companies. But there is incentivisation to invest in technology and infrastructure which could help to better engage with their customers and provide a more personalised service and innovate to capture spend on emerging trends.”

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