Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 3 September 2014

More families 'feeling the squeeze'

Nine million families across the UK are feeling under financial pressure, reseach suggests

Around 1.5 million more families are feeling financially squeezed than a year ago despite signs of blossoming confidence in the economy, research has found.

Which? found that one-third of households (34%), equating to nine million families across the UK, are feeling under financial pressure, up from an estimated 7.5 million households last July.

Despite the findings, more people expect to see an improvement in the economy over the next year, with almost one-quarter (24%) of people saying this, compared with 16% a year ago.

Experts have put some signs that confidence is lifting down to recent signs that the housing market is turning a corner and that the employment situation is improving.

However, the research also found that families are continuing to come under pressure from inflation, which surged to a 14-month high in June.

Which? said that rises to costs such as food prices and energy bills mean that people are relying more on credit to get by, with an estimated 6.1 million households dipping into their savings each month on average over the last year to get by.

Richard Lloyd, Which? executive director, said: "Consumers are looking on the bright side but millions more households are facing a prolonged squeeze on their finances. This implies they are getting used to the tougher financial climate or relying more heavily on savings or credit to get by.

"Consumers may be aiding our fragile economic recovery but using savings and getting into debt is not sustainable and more people are now feeling the squeeze.

"The Government must do more to keep spiralling housing, food and energy prices in check."

More than 2,000 people took part in the research in June across the UK.

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Latest News

Latest Sport

Latest Showbiz