British consumers 'particularly concerned' about post-Brexit price rises

British consumers 'particularly concerned' about post-Brexit price rises

Some 83% of Britons are now concerned about price rises on goods and services and 59% are anxious about the mounting cost of groceries, according to the poll for Mintel's British Lifestyles report.

Last week, a report from the British Retail Consortium showed that food prices increased 0.9% from a year earlier following a 1% increase in March, which was the fastest increase in three years.

With food prices expected to rise in 2017, average spending on grocery shopping looked likely to increase unless shoppers found ways to maintain spending through trading down or cutting waste.

Britons are increasingly prioritising spending on leisure activities and experiences over material possessions in what has become known as "the experience economy".

The UK fashion market has flourished in recent years, growing by 5.6% in 2015, according to Mintel's flagship British Lifestyles report.

Around 31 per cent of consumers, down from 39 per cent in July a year ago now believe the vote will adversely impact the UK's economic growth. As many as 81% of United Kingdom consumers are concerned about the future health of the NHS, while 68% are anxious about the United Kingdom economy and 67% are nervous about the state of the environment. By contrast, people appear less concerned by issues relating to their personal situation, with almost half (48%) of all adults concerned about their ability to pay bills and less than two in five (37%) anxious about their level of debt.

"Following the UK's vote to leave the European Union, there has been a great deal of discussion about how it will impact the price of goods and services", Mintel senior consumer lifestyles analyst Jack Duckett said.

He said: "Mintel research underlines particular concern about the rising cost of in-home food, and inflation is undoubtedly going to squeeze household budgets".

Across the country as a whole, 59% of Britons say they are happy with their everyday life, but this rises to 76% of people who say that their finances are healthy.

Despite the political turbulence, Mintel found that consumer expenditure rose by 3.7% in 2016 to reach £1.2 trillion (in the United Kingdom, one trillion is one million times a billion).

"It's the bigger picture issues that the United Kingdom faces, such as the NHS and the economy, that are the main concern, rather than people's own finances". Although spend grew across nearly all 17 sectors, spend was lower on fast moving consumer goods reflecting the grocery price war. By 2021, it is projected that Britons will spend £1.4tn per annum - equivalent to 17% growth over the next five years.

Now it is menswear that is bagging growth, with sales rising by 2.8% in 2016.