Half of consumers to buy less says Henley Centre study

LONDON - More than half of all people plan to consume less over the coming year as anxiety over the uncertain economic outlook weighs on the minds of the consumers.

According to exclusive 'Feeling the pinch' research from the Henley Centre unveiled in Marketing today it is anxiety - as opposed to consumer's real economic circumstances - which is fuelling consumers' changing consumption habit.

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Just a small increase in anxiety levels can have a dramatic impact on consumer spending patterns. Levels of anxiety vary by gender and men tend to be more anxious than women - with just one in five men described as 'Panicked'.

There are also notable geographical splits - with Wales, West England and Northern Ireland feeling particularly anxious. Anxiety is also linked to income - those earning more than £70,000 are the least anxious.

Unsurprisingly consumers are most likely to cut back in areas of spending which do not impact the quality of their lives. Almost half of all consumers are less likely to give money to charity in the current uncertain climate. However, just 30% of consumers are willing to trade down when buying a new car.

The British High Street is clearly facing a threat as 51% of consumers say they are now less likely to shop for fun and pleasure. While the ever-changing fashion merry go round will face a challenge as 58% of consumers are less likely to keep up with the latest styles. 

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