The latest edition of the Ipsos Global Inflation Monitor reveals that Britons are significantly more pessimistic about the cost-of-living crisis than the global average and are also more likely not to see an immediate end to the current era of high inflation.
Almost a quarter of Britons say they are finding it difficult to get by financially (up from a fifth in April 2022), almost half (46%) believe that the UK economy is in recession, and six-in-ten (60%) believe it will take at least a year before inflation returns to what they consider to be normal levels. The British public are second-most likely to think higher levels of inflation will last for more than 12 months from now, joint with the Netherlands (60%) and behind Sweden (64%).
Britons are also global leaders in feeling the squeeze on their disposable incomes, with 46% expecting that the amount they have left to spend after bills and living expenses will fall over the coming year. This is the highest score of all 29 countries in the Monitor, ahead of France (44%), Sweden (43%), Canada and Australia (both 42%). Despite this, the proportion of Britons who expect falling disposable incomes is down somewhat from the June 2022 Monitor, when 54% felt this would be the case.
Expectations for price rises remain widespread among the British public, although they have fallen from a peak shortly after the Russian invasion of Ukraine last year:
- Over four in five (82%) expect the price of their food shopping to continue to rise over the next six months – however this has declined from 88% who said the same in April last year.
- More than three in four in Britain think the cost of their utilities will increase (77%) over the coming six months, down from 89% in April 2022.
- A similar proportion expect the cost of other household shopping to increase (78%), down from 85% a year ago.
The proportion of Britons who are struggling financially is growing. One in four (26%) say they are finding it very of fairly difficult, up from 22% last November and 20% in April 2022 – matching a pattern also seen in Germany, France, Australia and Canada. However, the proportion who say they are living comfortably or doing alright – at 47% of the British population – is similar to that recorded a year ago.
Mike Clemence, a researcher at Ipsos, said, “British opinion towards the cost-of-living crisis is significantly more negative than the overall global picture. Almost half of the public expect that their disposable incomes will fall over the coming year, which is the highest level across 29 countries.
Despite this, we have seen some minor improvements since the first wave of the Inflation Monitor in April last year. Expectations for rising food and utility costs are high, but slightly lower than a year ago.”