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Brexit tops consumers concerns for 2017

By Vivian Hendriksz

Jan 4, 2017


London - Although it is the start of a new year, worries from 2016 have leaked into 2017 as Brexit is listed as the main concern for UK consumers this year. Together with a weaker economy and rising inflation, these issues are likely to define 2017 for UK consumers, as more than a quarter of consumers (28 percent) surveyed by research firm Retail Economics named the Brexit as their top concern for this year.

This is followed by a lack of savings (18 percent) and a weaker economy (13 percent.) In addition, nearly half of consumers (48 percent) expect to have less disposable income in 2017, as 25 percent claim they are ‘just about managing’ their personal financial situation and 22 percent are a ‘little concerned.’

Rising inflation is also a main concern (11 percent) and with consumers disposable incomes being squeezed and clothing and footwear prices on the rise in the UK, the apparel sector make take another blow in 2017.

“Concerns around Brexit, a weaker economy and rising inflation are likely to define 2017 for many households around the UK. Inflation is expected to hit 3 percent this year, which will erode disposable incomes and put the least affluent households under significant pressure,” commented Richard Lim, chief executive of Retail Economics.

"Retailers’ hedging strategies protected households from the immediate impact from the collapse in sterling last year but as these contracts begin to unwind inflation will accelerate sharply. While some businesses will take a hit on margins rather than passing on the full impact of rising costs, households will have to share some of the pain. How much pain and how quickly it feeds through will be critical in determining the strength of spending this year."

Photo: Oxford Street, FashionUnited

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