Brexit impact on consumer spend

In the aftermath of the House of Commons vote against Theresa May’s Brexit deal and the prospect of a no-deal Brexit very much a possibility come the end of March, potentially bringing with it some economic challenges, we take a close look at those consumers who claim that their purchasing is directly impacted by the economic outlook and assess what impact Brexit might have on their spending. 

Younger adults most influenced by economic forecasts 

Latest findings from our Great Britain TGI consumer data reveal that 28% of all consumers aged 15+ agree ‘The economic outlook heavily affects my purchasing behaviour’. However, those aged 18-24 are 23% more likely than the average adult to agree with this attitude, whilst those aged 65+ are 25% less likely than the average adult to do so. 

Older adults more likely to feel secure in their income 

A key underlying reason behind this split is that older people are more likely to feel secure with the income that they have. Those aged 65+ are 46% more likely than the average adult to say they are comfortable on their present income, whilst those aged 21-29 are 23% less likely than the average to agree. 

The prospect of tough economic times ahead may therefore hit the consumer confidence and spending patterns of younger adults in particular – something advertisers and retailers alike will need to be mindful of in the uncertain months ahead. 

Those affected by economic outlook have the most bullish approach to spending 

Consumer confidence could prove all the more fragile given that those who agree their spending is affected by economic outlook are 24% more likely to agree ‘I tend to spend money without thinking’, 50% more likely to agree ‘I tend to go for premium rather than standard goods/services’ and 53% more likely to agree ‘I’m tempted to buy products I’ve seen advertised’ – all attitudes that help to engender economic growth. 

Beyond attitudes, those who feel the economic outlook impacts on their spending are also more likely display certain purchasing behaviours that would support a healthy economy. TGI consumer data reveals they are 26% more likely to grab a drink from a sandwich bar or coffee shop once a week or more, 28% more likely to eat at a restaurant once a week or more and 25% more likely to intend to buy a tablet computer. 

Cinema can be a key way to reach these spenders 

In terms of reaching these economic outlook-mindful spenders, they are 37% more likely to be amongst the heaviest fifth of cinema goers and 20% more likely to be amongst the heaviest fifth of gamers. When it comes to cinema, they are 31% more likely than the average cinema-going adult to pick martial arts films as their favourite genre, although their overall most popular type of film is comedy. 

These spenders are politically engaged  

These fair-weather spenders are also a relatively politically engaged bunch. They are 26% more likely than the average adult to claim to ‘specially choose to watch’ Question Time. The social media posts around this programme would suggest the prevailing mood is towards the wary for the immediate future.  

Findings from our Kantar Social TV Ratings reveal that of the one million or so tweets relating specifically to Question Time that have been generated in the past three months, 23% of the tweets have been explicitly negative in tone (versus14% positive). Similarly, the top emotion coming through in these tweets has been one of criticism: 21% of tweets express this emotion, way ahead of ‘admiration’ in distant second place accounting for 10% of tweets. 

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