Consumer confidence has been hit by uncertainty over the EU referendum and has consequences for retailers, according to Marks & Spencer boss Steve Rowe.
Speaking today after Marks & Spencer posted its latest results, the company's new chief executive said short term confidence has been knocked.
“Customer confidence and optimism, particularly in the short-term, in the last few months, has dipped as customers have worries about terrorism, around Brexit, and immigration. And within this, customer behaviour is changing too,” he said.
“It’s happened since the end of last autumn and accelerated over the last few months. How that will pan out, I think we’ll wait and see.”
David Cameron has claimed that shopping bills would rise if the country votes to leave the EU; in last weeks Sun on Sunday he wrote the average weekly shop would cost three per cent more, or £120 per year.
However, when Rowe was asked whether the country's shopping basket would cost more in the event of Brexit, he said: "I don’t think anybody knows the answer to that question. This is a matter for the public."
Rowe's comments come days after key retail figures warned that leaving the EU would be "catastrophic". They expressed worries about how Britain could negotiate a new trade deal with its continental partners.
The former bosses of Tesco, Sainsbury's, M&S and B&Q told the Mail on Sunday that Brexit would lead to increased prices, a jump in inflation, as well as job losses.