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Rising numbers think their finances will improve over next 12 months

16/05/2023
RETIREMENT
  • Millions say they are struggling with cost of living but key LV= indicators are showing signs of recovery
  • Indices measuring financial outlook over next three months are at the best level for a year 

Research from protection, investment and retirement specialist LV= highlights how the personal finances of millions of people continue to be affected by the high cost of living. 

The LV= Wealth and Wellbeing Research Programme* - a quarterly survey of 4,000 UK adults – reveals that although millions of people are struggling to make ends meet, the proportion of people who think their finances will improve over the next three months is rising. This continues a trend that first appeared in December 2022.

Some 12% (6m) of UK adults say they expect their finances to improve over the next three months - an improvement on the previous quarter when 10% said this. The proportion of people who think their finances will worsen over the next three months has fallen to 40% (21m) from 46% (25m). The figures are the most optimistic since March 2022.

“The LV= Wealth and Wellbeing Research Programme has tracked how millions of people have been squeezed financially over the past 12 months as rising energy bills, interest rates and inflation reduce their spending power. 

“People’s finances are in a poor state compared to two years ago, but they have begun to gradually improve - a trend that our research identified in December last year. Although millions of people are facing a financial squeeze, the proportion of people who think their finances will improve is gradually rising while the proportion who think they will worsen is falling.

“Our latest data is the most optimistic we’ve seen since March 2022 and confirms the trend of a gradually improving picture. This appears consistent with the 0.1% growth in GDP in Q1 2023 announced by the ONS. If the cost of living and inflation ease and wages improve, people could begin to feel more optimistic about their finances.”

Clive BoltonManaging Director of Protection, Savings and Retirement

The LV= Wealth and Wellbeing Research Programme indices:

LV= uses indices to track overall changes to spending, saving and finances. The indices are calculated by taking the percentage who stated a positive change over the past three months (e.g. increase/ better) and subtracting the percentage who stated a negative change over the past three months (e.g. decrease/ worse), to work out the overall impact.

  • Financial outlook: The index measuring financial outlook for the next three months was -28 in March 2023 compared to -36 in December 2022. A negative index means more people think their finance will worsen over the next three months compared to those who think it will improve. The index has improved by +8 indicating fewer people have a negative outlook compared to the previous quarter. Some 40% (21m) expect their finances to worsen over the next three months while 12% (6m) think it will improve.

  • Finances over past three months: The index measuring people’s finances over the past three months was -42 in March 2023. The negative index indicates that more people say their finances have got worse over the past three months than those saying their finances have got better. However, this index has improved compared to December 2022 when the index was -49, indicating finances may be starting to improve for some. 51% (27m) say their finances have deteriorated over the past three months while 9% (5m) said their finances had improved.

  • Income and outgoings: The index measuring income fell from 9 to 5, as a smaller proportion of people said their income from work had increased. The index measuring outgoings fell from 59 to 54. Many more people (63%/33m) say their outgoings have increased compared to decreased (8%/4m).

  • Savings index: Savings remains low. The index measuring amount saving was -13 in March 2023 compared to -16 in December 2022. 

  • Spending on socialising and at the supermarket: The index measuring socialising spend was -12 in March 2023, compared to -13 in December 2022, showing minimal change quarter on quarter. The index measuring spending at the supermarket was 53 in March 2023, compared to 57 in December 2022. A far greater proportion of people (63% or 34m) say their supermarket spend has increased compared to those who say it has decreased (10% or 6m). 
 
Mar-22 Jun-22 Sep-22 Dec-22 Mar-23 Index change
vs. last quarter
Financial outlook over next three months
Improve 10% 11% 8% 10% 12%
Worsen 42% 43% 57% 46% 40%
Index -31 -32 -49 -36 -28 +8
Finances over past three months
Better 10% 9% 7% 9% 9%
Worse 33% 44% 53% 59% 58%
Index -20 -34 -44 -52 -49 +7
Income from work
Increase 16% 17% 17% 19% 15%
Decrease 11% 10% 12% 10% 10%
Index 5 7 5 9 5 -4
Total monthly outgoings
Increase 58% 61% 67% 69% 63%
Decrease 9% 12% 10% 10% 8%
Index 49 49 57 59 54 -5
Amount saving
Increase 18% 17% 16% 17% 15%
Decrease 23% 30% 33% 33% 28%
Index -6 -13 -17 -16 -13 +3
Amount paying into pensions
Increase 13% 14% 13% 14% 11%
Decrease 6% 8% 10% 8% 8%
Index 6 5 3 6 3 -3
Spend at the supermarket
Increase 56% 58% 63% 68% 63%
Decrease 10% 15% 14% 12% 10%
Index 46 43 48 57 53 -4
Spend on socialising
Increase 20% 21% 19% 19% 17%
Decrease 24% 31% 33% 32% 28%
Index -4 -10 -14 -13 -12 +1
 

Notes to editors

  • * LV= surveyed 4,000 nationally representative UK adults via an online omnibus conducted by Opinium in March 2022.
  • UK population stats from ONS. Total UK adult population is 53.2m UK adults (aged 18+).