Despite feeling the pinch this festive season Brits are giving more time & money to help those less fortunate
23% plan to spend less than they did in 2016 - but 26% expect to give more to charity over the Christmas period compared to the rest of the year
UK shoppers are expected to spend less for the 2017 festive season, making it the first fall since 2012. Experts believe that stagnant wages and gloomy productivity figures mean households are cutting back and this is reflected in the latest research from Equifax, the consumer credit expert. Findings from the YouGov research show that nearly a quarter of British consumers expect to spend less on the presents, food and travelling this year than they did in 2016. And 40% of those say it’s because they are earning less this year.
However, it’s not all doom and gloom, according to the YouGov research commissioned by Equifax over a quarter (26%) of those surveyed say they will be giving more to charity over the festive period compared to any other time in the year. Of those 57% plan to give more money and 36% will donate to food banks, whilst 12% aim to help at charity events and 8% plan to volunteer.
Overall British consumers are feeling the financial squeeze this festive season. And across the UK, shoppers in the East of England are most likely to cut back on their Christmas spending, with 29% saying they will spend less this year. 25% of consumers in Scotland are planning to cut back, followed by 24% of Londoners and 22% of those living in Wales.
Of those cutting back on their Christmas spending, 40% of British consumers said it is due to them earning less in 2017. This rises to 46% in the Midlands, whilst only 30% say the same in the North.
However, a lack of any pay increase during 2017 was actually the biggest factor hitting consumers’ spending for the festive season. More than half (55%) said they haven’t had a pay increase this year. The two regions that have been most impacted the most are Wales (59%) and East of England (58%) who said they hadn’t had a pay rise in 2017.
It’s probably no surprise that people are counting pennies and pounds this festive season, especially when 47% of those surveyed said that they are not expecting a pay rise in 2018. This increases to a shocking 52% for those people who live in Wales, with 49% in the South and Midlands saying the same, dropping to 44% in London.
"Planned spending this festive season seems to have been influenced by ongoing economic uncertainty, with 14% citing this as a reason for spending less this year," explains Lisa Hardstaff, consumer credit information expert at Equifax. "It’s clear from the YouGov research that British households are feeling the financial strain, as wages stagnate, and outgoings increase. But by managing their spending over the festive season and staying within their means, UK shoppers can go into 2018 without taking on unnecessary amounts of debt."
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