Five in 10 consumers are heading into 2024 saying they feel the need to cut back on non-essential spending in 2024, according to new research from KPMG UK.

Assessing confidence for 2024, KPMG’s latest Consumer Pulse survey of 3,000 UK consumers (258 in Scotland) shows those feeling worse about their financial security outnumber those feeling more secure by almost two to one (41% vs 22%).

The findings also showed that 51% consumers say they will have to cut their non-essential spending in 2024, with eating out, takeaways and clothing the top three of a wide range of cost cutting targets.

This is the same top three as when KPMG polled consumers on their 2023 spending intention 12 months ago.

Consumers in Scotland have vowed to try and save a few pounds by buying more own brands or discounted items, buy fewer items and also using loyalty schemes more.

The poll also revealed that price is the most important factor in Scotland with quality and convenience coming next.

Commenting on the findings, Linda Ellett, UK Head of Consumer, Retail and Leisure for KPMG, said: “As was the case in 2023, large numbers of consumers tell us that they are going to combine stopping, reducing, and switching the things they buy to save money in 2024.

“As more households are exposed to higher mortgage rates or rent, the number of people needing to cut non-essential costs increases. Our survey also indicates that those consumers who have already adapted their shopping behaviour to lower their costs during 2023 are going to continue these steps during the next twelve months.

“Around half of consumers we survey say they will buy more value, own brand, promotional, or discount produce. Forty percent of consumers also intend to use retailer loyalty schemes more in 2024

“Price is way out ahead as the main purchasing driver and retailers are going to be expected to continue to incentivise to compete. With margins under prolonged pressure and interest rates remaining elevated, this consumer and economic landscape will continue to challenge the structure of some businesses.”

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