Trends Briefing: The End of the Cost-of-Living Crisis?

Thursday 25th April 2024


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The headline inflation rate is at 3.4%, the economy grew in the first month of 2024 and consumer confidence is tantalisingly close to positivity. Is the cost of living crisis in the UK over?

There are other indicators that support this view. Shop price inflation is lower that 2%, and it’s lowest level since 2021. The Bank of England are desperately close to lowering interest rates, and mortgage deals are already a long way past their peak – following house prices, which are rising once again. Trajectory’s Optimism Index finds that consumer spending expectations are rising, just in time for a change in the weather. International tourism is likely to get back to pre-pandemic levels this year. The energy price cap is now less than £1700 per year.

On the other hand… a plurality of consumers fall into our ‘hyper pessimist’ category when we ask about their expectations for both the economy and their own finances over the next year. Recent analysis by Debt Justice has found that 6.7m people in the UK are in financial difficulty while charities continue to report surges in demand. Over half a million businesses started 2024 in ‘significant financial distress’.

In our next Trends Briefing we’ll take a detailed look at the data to explore the current state and likely future trajectory of the Cost of Living Crisis in the UK. We’ll explore how different consumer groups are faring and what the outlook for spending is likely to be. We’ll draw on hot-off-the-press insights from our monthly survey of the UK public and place them in the context of longer term change.

The central question we’ll be answering is: is this what the end of the cost-of-living crisis looks like? As ever, our answers will come with implications for brands, policymakers, charities and strategists.

Register here to attend

Every month we host webinar looking in detail at a core trend, topic or issue. The sessions are free to attend, but only our Now & Next members get access to the presentation slides and recording – along with the whole archive of Trajectory trends data and analysis – afterwards. For more information, click here.