Trends Briefing: Cost of Living Impacts and the Shape of Recovery

Thursday 30th March 2023


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This month marks just over a year since the impacts of the cost of living crisis first started being felt in our consumer tracker. One year on, how have consumers fared – and what might a recovery look like?

Since the start of the cost of living crisis we’ve been closely tracking consumer sentiment, consumption patterns, and spending expectations. It has been a long and difficult period for consumers but, as we enter the second year of the crisis and reach six months since our last in-depth presentation on the topic, what lessons are there to be learned from how consumers have responded?

Can we gain any insights into what a post-crisis recovery might resemble?

Which consumers managed to maintain their optimism through the cost of living crisis – and which consumer groups were instead impacted the most? How did attitudes respond to a cost-of-living winter? Where was spending most affected – and for who?

Answering these questions will allow us to look further ahead. With warmer summer months to come and inflation forecast to tick downwards this year, can we start thinking about recovery? It won’t be simple – the lack of any real deflation means prices will remain stubbornly high even as they stop rising at the rates we’ve seen.

But as pressures on consumers lessen where should we expect spending to bounce back fastest?

Which consumer groups have built up the greatest pent-up demand – and which will come out of the crisis with money to spend? What sectors and businesses might benefit? And how should brands respond – not just during this cost of living crisis but beyond it?

Join us for our next Trends Briefing on March 30th where we’ll tackle all these questions and more. As ever, our insights will draw on hot-off-the-press data from our monthly consumer sentiment barometer and come with implications for businesses, strategists and policymakers.