Download the data
Around two-thirds of adults spending less on non-essentials
Around two-thirds of adults (67%) in Great Britain are spending less on non-essentials because of the rising cost of living.
This is according to those asked between 23 August to 3 September 2023 as part of our latest Public opinions and social trends bulletin.
The survey also revealed that half (50%) were shopping around more.
A boost in average pay in May to July 2023, coupled with a recent reduction in the rate of inflation (rising prices), means that real wages (adjusted for Consumer Prices Index including owner occupiers’ housing costs (CPIH) inflation) are beginning to improve compared with recent months.
Average regular pay (excluding bonuses) for employees rose by 7.8% in May to July 2023 compared with the same period the previous year, according to the latest labour market data. This maintains the highest growth rate seen since 2001.
Real terms (adjusted for CPIH inflation) total (including bonuses) and regular pay also rose on the year by 1.2% and 0.6%, respectively, during the same period.
Retail sales volumes (the amount of stuff bought) across Great Britain were estimated to have fallen 1.2% in July 2023 following a rise of 0.6% in June 2023.
Wet weather resulted in reduced footfall and caused many shoppers to turn to online stores. In total, 27.4% of the value of retail sales took place online in July 2023, the highest proportion since February 2022 (28.0%).
Sales volumes at food stores dropped by 2.6% in July 2023 following a rise of 1.1% the previous month. Automotive fuel stores sales bounced back from a 0.6% fall in June 2023 to a 0.7% rise last month.
How this affects you
Read our summary of our current and future analytical work related to the cost of living.
The government is offering help for households. See what cost of living support you could be eligible for.
Explore the UK Measures of National Well-being dashboard, which tracks the progress of a range of factors affecting people’s lives. We have explained some of the findings from new measures added in 2023 in our Most adults report making some changes to their lifestyle for environmental reasons article.