Consumers struggle to stay positive as economy flat lines

News that the economy contracted at the end of last year will come as no surprise to hard pressed households, with two-thirds (68%) of people describing the economy as poor, and more than four in 10 (44%) saying they expect it to get worse in the next 12 months.

The latest Which? Consumer Insight tracker also shows:

  • Only a quarter (24%) are living comfortably on their present income
  • Nearly half (46%) took out new credit in December
  • Just 27% of people expect that their financial situation will improve in 2013 and half (54%) think their household budget will be tighter this year than last
  • A third (31%) cut back spending on essential household items last month
  • Just 16% of people are satisfied with the direction of the UK as a whole
  • Just 15% of people trust the Government to act in their best interest

Which? executive director Richard Lloyd said:

“News that the economy flat lined in 2012 comes as no surprise – we repeatedly warned that low consumer confidence suggested growth in the last quarter was unsustainable. Britain’s struggling households are weary of continually having to cut spending, or worse take out credit to pay for essentials, and can see no improvement in their situation in the next year.

“With the risk of a triple-dip recession looming, consumer confidence will remain low unless the Government can do more to keep the costs of food, energy and fuel under control.”


Populus, on behalf of Which?, interviewed a random sample of 2109 UK adults online between 19th and 21st December 2012.  Data were weighted to be demographically representative of all UK adults.  For more information see



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