High Streets Initiative · 7 March 2018

High street facing exodus of younger shoppers as financial pressures bite

Fears over Brexit and inflation have limited the spending power of young people

Young people have slashed their spending on clothes and eating out in 2018 in the face of economic fears and rising prices.

According to the latest Lloyds Banking Spending Power Report, 36 per cent of 18 to 34-year olds say they are “struggling to make ends meet”.

This has resulted in 27 per cent of younger shoppers using more voucher codes and discount websites since the start of the year and a third taken to eating in rather than going out to restaurants.

Youngsters said they were cutting back because of concerns over rising inflation and the potential impact of Brexit.

Older people are also tightening the purse strings with the report finding that 60 per cent of all consumers have changed their eating and going out habits this year. A third have reduced spending on clothes and personal care items, with 20 per cent turning to vouchers and discount websites.

The average consumer claims to have reduced their spending by £21.53 a week since the beginning of the year.

Robin Bulloch, managing director of Lloyds Bank, said: “It is clear that many young people are concerned about the pressure on their finances in 2018 and are looking at ways to reduce their outgoings.”



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The report also revealed that consumers are more concerned with the state of the UK economy than they were a year ago. From January 2017, pessimism towards the UK housing market and inflation has risen eight per cent and 13 per cent respectively.

Only one in five people believe they will have more money in six months’ time. Spending is not their main priority, the report added, with people choosing to use any extra cash to pay off existing debt or save for a rainy day.

This has impacted on people’s perception of their own financial strength, as only one in five think they will have more money in six months’ time.

Amongst this group, however, spending is not the priority with around 40 per cent using some of this extra cash to pay off existing debt and three in four saving for a rainy day.

However, people are continuing to spend more on essentials.

The year-on-year growth in consumers’ essential spending for December was around three per cent. Food, accounting for 40 per cent of all essential spend, had a year-on-year rise of just under two per cent and fuel spend rose by just over four per cent.

Gas and electricity also rose to just over four per cent, the sixth consecutive month of spending increase, following over three years of continuous decline.

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Simon Caldwell is a reporter for Business Advice. He has a BA in politics and communications from the University of Liverpool, and has previously worked as a content editor in local government and the ecommerce industry.


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