More than a fifth of British consumers (22%) have avoided “big ticket” purchases due to Brexit-driven uncertainty – with overseas holidays sales the hardest hit.
Just less than a third of Brits have tightened their belts and changed spending habits over concerns around the UK’s departure from the EU, with 9% saying they have missed out on overseas holidays as a result, according to research by KPMG.
The accountancy firm’s survey of 2,000 adults, conducted between 19-22 July, revealed parents with young children are among the most concerned, with 15% “sacrificing” foreign holidays in the lead up to Brexit.
Spending on new cars (14%) and home renovations (10%) were also most commonly sacrificed by this demographic.
Almost half (46%) of younger people, aged 18 to 34, have delayed big purchases such as holidays and weddings or put more money into their savings.
Those aged 35 and over have focused more on saving ahead of Brexit while those over 55 are the least fazed, with only one in five (19%) having changed their spending habits at all.
KPMG found men were much more cautious about their money in light of Brexit than women, with more than a third (35%) of changing their money management and only one in four (25%) women doing the same.
Regionally, Brexit wariness appeared to be most prevalent in London, where almost half (48%) of those quizzed have postponed a big purchase or added to their savings.
Unlike the rest of the country, foreign holidays are not the main sacrifice, investing in stocks and shares is, at 17%.
Those surveyed in Scotland and Wales were considered the most conscious of forward planning with their savings, with about one in seven (14% and 13% respectively) putting more aside should Brexit bite financially.
Linda Ellett, KPMG UK’s head of consumer markets, said the research’s figures “bring to light just how much Brexit has impacted people’s everyday lives”.
“When looking at travel and holidays in particular, fears around flight paths and border controls are clearly playing out in people’s actions, and of course the fall in the value of sterling won’t have done much to entice people overseas either,” Ellett said.
“For these consumer businesses, the focus has to be on remaining agile so as to ride this wave of uncertainty. Those that can achieve this may even benefit from pent-up demand when clarity finally does return to both businesses and consumers.”