Which? executive director Richard Lloyd said:
“Today’s shocking GDP figures are further evidence of what hard-pressed consumers know only too well, that we are in the midst of the biggest financial squeeze since the 1920s.
“Our Consumer Report found Britons are among the most economically vulnerable consumers in Europe, with people’s ability to save at rock bottom and personal debt levels sky high. Alarming numbers of people say they are forced to take on new forms of debt just to make ends meet, and many more say they would not cope with unexpected shocks to their incomes or household bills. Three quarters of the British public describe the UK economy as ‘poor’ and half of the population believe it will only get worse over the coming 12 months.
“Four in ten people said they planned to cut back on food spending in the coming months, and only 7% of people said they are willing to spend any leftover money they have. This growing reluctance to spend and the collapse in consumer confidence has severe implications for our economic recovery.
“The Chancellor needs to get money back in people’s pockets to help households who are struggling to cope with rising fuel, energy, mortgage and food costs. That’s what will really boost consumer confidence and spending power, which is essential for getting sustainable growth going in the economy.”
Full details can be found in the Which? Quarterly Consumer Report