This is what consumers are most worried about this year

Helen Cahill
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Inflation Figures Register Surprise Drop For October
Inflation is set to feed into shop prices this year (Source: Getty)

It's only day four of 2017 and we're already tearing our hair out about what the new year will bring.

Top of the list of consumers' concerns is that poorly-defined political concept: Brexit.

Read more: More money in your pocket? Not for much longer, say economists

Few of us even know what Brexit means - Prime Minister Theresa May has only really gone so far as to say "Brexit means Brexit" - but nothing concerns us more than how it might pan out.

Research from Retail Economics shows that 28 per cent of consumers have said their biggest worry for 2017 is Brexit. Lack of savings came in second place, with 18 per cent of people saying this was their biggest concern, followed by a weaker UK economy, which was top of the worry list for 13 per cent of respondents.

So far, inflationary pressures from the fall in the value of the pound have not fed in to shop prices, as figures from the British Retail Consortium have shown overall shop prices fell by 1.4 per cent in December.

However, many consumers are not feeling positive about prices over the next few months, with 48 per cent thinking they will have less disposable income this year.

Read more: JP Morgan's Dimon voices concerns on post-Brexit London

Richard Lim, chief executive of Retail Economics, said that inflation could rise to three per cent this year when retailers' hedging strategies run out and the public is forced to "share some of the pain" of the collapse in the value of the pound.

"How much pain and how quickly it feeds through will be critical in determining the strength of spending this year," he said.

"With darker clouds forming on the horizon through rising costs of living, a weaker labour market and slowing economic growth, it is the less affluent households that will be hit the hardest."