81% of UK consumers feel confident about their job security, according to the latest Lloyds Bank Spending Power Report. The monthly barometer, which tracks both spending habits and consumer confidence, showed four-in-five consumers believe their own job security is either “excellent”, “very good” or “somewhat good” – the highest level in the survey’s history, and a monthly increase of four percentage points.
Two-thirds (65%) of consumers also felt positive about their own personal finances – a 2% increase compared to this time last year.
However, the report, conducted in conjunction with Ipsos MORI, also reveals declining positivity towards the level of inflation. While a majority (54%) of consumers remain positive about inflation, this is down from 59% in July, and from 64% in August 2015.
This increased concern seems to be affecting consumers’ future spending plans with 76% saying they expect to save some or all of their extra disposable income, up from 72% in July 2016. More than a third (35%) plan to prioritise paying off debt, up from 31% a month before.
The Lloyds Bank report does reveal a more gradual improvement in consumers’ confidence in the financial situation of the wider economy. As of August, 42% now feel positive about the country’s financial situation. This is up from 38% in July but remains lower than a year before in August 2015 when the measure stood at 46%.
Robin Bulloch, Managing Director, Lloyds Bank said “The prospect of leaving the EU continues to dominate political discussions and much of the media – with little certainty over what this will mean in practical terms for households and consumers. In the meantime, whatever the opportunities and risks of the referendum result, it is encouraging to see such confidence in the jobs market in particular. The overarching message from UK consumers is one of cautious optimism, which explains an increasingly careful and judicious approach to future spending plans.”