M&S has revealed that family optimism in the UK is at its highest level in almost two years, despite ongoing financial struggles amid the cost-of-living crisis.
According to the upmarket retailer’s quarterly Family Matters Index – which surveyed approximately 5,000 adults – almost half (45%) said they felt optimistic about their family’s prospects for the next three months, compared with a record low of 32% in September 2022.
The index tracks priorities, challenges and ambitions for UK families, and is based on online interviews conducted between 5 and 12 May.
The data also discovered that 49% were planning to go on holiday this summer, with Europe the destination of choice. However, the majority of people (81%) said that they were still concerned about the cost of living.
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As a result, almost two thirds (64%) say that the rise in the cost of living is triggering a change in habits and behaviours. Chief among these is buying cheaper items in stores (72%) and eating out less (62%).
Reducing food waste (55%) and making clothes last longer (41%) are also popular, particularly among those aged 55+, highlighting how economic conditions continue to encourage sustainable habits.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) recently showed a decline in the soaring rate of food inflation throughout 2023, as economists predict it will stand at around 9% in December.
Latest Kantar data also found that grocery price inflation has seen its steepest drop since inflation peaked in March this year, falling by 1.6% from 16.5% to 14.9% in the four weeks to 9 July 2023.