Consumers in the UK have slashed spending on Christmas gifts this year as household incomes across the country have suffered amid the biggest jump in prices in 40 years, Bloomberg reported on Friday, citing a survey published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
Six in ten adults surveyed admitted they were planning to cut the amount they spend during this festive season by buying fewer and less expensive presents. Meanwhile, British charities have reported booming sales as cash-strapped shoppers are looking for second-hand Christmas gifts.
With disposable income hit by skyrocketing inflation, people are tightening their belts and expect to eat out and socialize less, the public opinion and social trends survey showed. Inflation in the UK reached 11.1% in October, more than five times the Bank of England’s 2% target.
About 18% of respondents told the ONS they had no savings to shield themselves from surging costs and 7% reported they had missed a bill payment in the past month. Households were facing the highest financial pressure from energy bills, as well as mortgage and rent payments, the ONS said.
Nearly half of UK adults reported they were hardly able to heat their homes and three-quarters were alarmed about the cost of living.