Brexit blues: Consumers say they'll be saving in the coming months as analysts predict a spending squeeze for Brexit Britain

 
Helen Cahill
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A general view of shops with their shutt
High streets could be quieter in the coming weeks and months (Source: Getty)

Brexit is already starting to bite for consumers, with the some of the first insights into post-referendum attitudes showing that Brits are convinced their livelihoods will be hit and predictions that UK spending will be squeezed.

Sixty-one per cent of consumers are worried about the future of the UK economy and think Brexit will negatively impact their personal finances, according to research from consultancy Retail Economics.

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In the survey - conducted on 25 June, roughly 24 hours after the referendum result - half of consumers said they are likely to save more of their pay.

More than half of the respondents (61 per cent) said they are worried food prices will rise, something that may happen if the cost of imported food goes up.

The news comes as the fashion industry has slumped into negative growth for the first time in six years, and footfall figures show fewer people are going shopping already.

Read more: Here's how the supermarkets were doing just before the Brexit vote

The report from Retail Economics said:

The immediate future looks challenging for furniture and flooring, electricals and other big-ticket retailers with a third of consumers intending to cut back their spending on planned large purchases.

With 11 per cent of household expenditure going on food, consumers are understandably concerned about food prices.

KPMG's head of macroeconomics, Yael Selfin, said:

"A key player to watch out for in this first act it the UK consumer as spending is going to be squeezed.

"The combination of the large degree of uncertainty, pressure on earnings, a weaker pound and higher inflation will bite into purchasing power and this, coupled with potential falls in house prices, could all combine to result in a freeze in spending altogether.

"Given that consumer spending represents about 60 per cent of the economy, its direction over the coming months will be crucial to determine the path of the overall economy."

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