No Match Found
Our PwC Research practice is conducting a fortnightly online survey of 1,000 UK consumers and monthly qualitative focus groups. The results of this research are collated in our new Cost of Living Tracker, which shows how attitudes and behaviours are changing across the UK as a result of the increasing cost of living.
This month’s research shows that:
Three quarters of UK consumers are concerned they will not be able to keep up mortgage or rent payments if interest rates continue to rise. 18% of those questioned this month said they were extremely concerned about this, similar to the proportion before Christmas. A further 20% are very concerned about their ability to meet mortgage or rent payment if rates continue to increase.
Research carried out on 24th January shows that 41% of consumers polled across the UK are very or extremely concerned about their personal finances, with just 18% not concerned. However, this is an improvement on pre-Christmas sentiment when 45% were very or extremely concerned.
More consumers are taking action on non-essential purchases while more than half of consumers have switched to a cheaper supermarket in the last six months in a bid to cut their costs, while 63% have switched to cheaper brands.
Energy costs remain a particular concern and are undoubtedly impacting how people live. 54% of those surveyed said they were not turning on heating when they normally would, while more than two-thirds (68%) have turned down their thermostats or limited the hours they heat their homes. 48% have said they are showering or bathing less often to save on water charges.
70% of consumers are conserving energy by turning off lights and unplugging devices. This comes as the Government promotes its Help for Households initiative to spread energy saving tips.
Around one-third of parents (32%) are cancelling extra-curricular activities for their children in a bid to keep outgoings under control.
The hospitality industry is expected to come under increasing pressure as non-essential spending is cut back - 75% of people are staying home more often at times when they’d previously have gone to the cinema, or a bar. Further to this, three-quarters (76%) are eating at home rather than going to a restaurant or getting a takeaway.
Jonathan House, Partner at PwC UK, comments:
“There is no question that the current pressures on the cost of living are impacting the vast majority of UK households, but what we’re seeing is that pressure has alleviated a little since Christmas – possibly due to the spending expectations in December.
“The scale of the challenge facing consumers is starkly revealed in our research, which shows that households in all parts of the UK are concerned about their ability to make their mortgage or rent payments in the event that interest rates increase.
“January is traditionally a month of moderation, however our research shows how far that is going this year. With three-quarters of households choosing to do their socialising at home, pubs and restaurants will only see their own cost pressures increase. And it’s not just the hospitality sector that is feeling it – everyone from gym groups and travel agents to the TV streaming giants are being impacted by consumer cutbacks. How businesses deal with this will have an impact on the wider economy.
“The data also shows us that there’s an opportunity here to make permanent changes to the way we use energy – if the 70% of people who are turning off lights and unplugging devices get into the habit, not only is it good for them financially, but it could positively impact our Net Zero ambitions.”
Research was carried out on 17th December 2022 and 24 January 2023 with a representative sample size of 1,000. For more information on PwC Research, please visit www.pwc.co.uk/pwcresearch
Press office, PwC United Kingdom
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