Legal & General: Brits in a penny-pinching humour

13 February 2007
The start of the new year put UK consumers in a saving frame of mind, a Legal & General survey has shown, with 65 per cent of Britons keen to save – 14 per cent more than in December.

However, the number of people hoping to save in January 2007 is still only the same as in January 2006 – a year when good intentions could not stop UK debt and personal insolvencies rising to record levels.

Spending, too, is now more unpopular than ever before, with only 22 per cent of adults looking to blow their earnings in the shops.

But Britons' ebbing appetite for spending may indicate that economic conditions are forcing them to cut back, suggested Legal & General's director of customer marketing, Claire Stracey.

"A fall in household disposable money is the most likely factor in pushing down the mood to spend," she observed, pointing to evidence that fewer and fewer households have any money left over to spend "after paying bills and debt payments".

The base rate rise in January made savings more profitable but also increased the expense of debt repayments and bills – which could explain the dual trends in the survey's findings.

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