Ipsos Global Inflation Monitor: Britons are the most pessimistic across 29 countries about their disposable incomes

The latest release of the Ipsos Global Inflation Monitor finds the proportion of Britons finding it hard to get by rises to 1 in 4 (26%).

The author(s)
  • Michael Clemence Trends & Foresight
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Key findings:

  • Forty-six per cent 46% of Brits expect their disposable income to fall in the coming year – the highest of 29 countries
  • Half (46%) think the UK economy is in recession, 39% think it is not
  • Sixty per cent of Britons think it will be at least a year before inflation returns to normal
  • A quarter (26%) are finding it difficult to get by financially, up from 20% a year ago

The latest wave of the Ipsos Global Inflation Monitor reveals that Britons are significantly more pessimistic about the cost-of-living crisis than the global average and are also more likely not to see an immediate end to the current era of high inflation.

Almost a quarter of Britons say they are finding it difficult to get by financially (up from a fifth in April 2022), almost half (46%) believe that the UK economy is in recession, and six-in-ten (60%) believe it will take at least a year before inflation returns to what they consider to be normal levels. The British public are second-most likely to think higher levels of inflation will last for more than 12 months from now, joint with the Netherlands (60%) and behind Sweden (64%).

Britons are also global leaders in feeling the squeeze on their disposable incomes, with 46% expecting that the amount they have left to spend after bills and living expenses will fall over the coming year. This is the highest score of all 29 countries in the Monitor, ahead of France (44%), Sweden (43%), Canada and Australia (both 42%). Despite this, the proportion of Britons who expect falling disposable incomes is down somewhat from the June 2022 Monitor, when 54% felt this would be the case.

Expectations for price rises remain widespread among the British public, although they have fallen from a peak shortly after the Russian invasion of Ukraine last year:

  • Over four in five (82%) expect the price of their food shopping to continue to rise over the next six months – however this has declined from 88% who said the same in April last year.
  • More than three in four in Britain think the cost of their utilities will increase (77%) over the coming six months, down from 89% in April 2022.
  • A similar proportion expect the cost of other household shopping to increase (78%), down from 85% a year ago.

The proportion of Britons who are struggling financially is growing. One in four (26%) say they are finding it very of fairly difficult, up from 22% last November and 20% in April 2022 – matching a pattern also seen in Germany, France, Australia and Canada. However, the proportion who say they are living comfortably or doing alright – at 47% of the British population – is similar to that recorded a year ago.

Mike Clemence, a researcher at Ipsos, said

British opinion towards the cost-of-living crisis is significantly more negative than the overall global picture. Almost half of the public expect that their disposable incomes will fall over the coming year, which is the highest level across 29 countries.
Despite this, we have seen some minor improvements since the first wave of the Inflation Monitor in April last year. Expectations for rising food and utility costs are high, but slightly lower than a year ago.

About this study 

This 29-country Global Advisor survey was conducted between March 24th 2023 and April 7th 2023 via the Ipsos Online Panel system among 20,570 adults aged 18-74 in Canada, Israel, Malaysia, South Africa, Turkey and the United States, 20-74 in Indonesia and Thailand, 21-74 in Singapore, and 16-74 in all other nations. The “Global Country Average” reflects the average result for all the countries where the survey was conducted. It has not been adjusted to the population size of each country and is not intended to suggest a total result.

The sample consists of approximately 1000+ individuals in each of Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Israel, Japan, Mexico, Spain, Sweden, and the US, and approximately 500+ individuals in each of Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Netherlands, Peru, Poland, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Thailand and Turkey.

The samples in Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Poland, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, and the US can be taken as representative of these countries’ general adult population under the age of 75.

The samples in Brazil, Chile, Colombia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Singapore, South Africa, Thailand and Turkey are more urban, more educated, and/or more affluent than the general population. The survey results for these markets should be viewed as reflecting the views of the more “connected” segment of these populations.

Weighting has been employed to balance demographics and ensure that the sample’s composition reflects that of the adult population according to the most recent census data.
The precision of Ipsos online polls is calculated using a credibility interval with a poll of 1,000 accurate to +/- 3.5 percentage points and of 500 accurate to +/- 5.0 percentage points. For more information on the Ipsos use of credibility intervals, please visit the Ipsos website.

Where results do not sum to 100 or the ‘difference’ appears to be +/-1 more/less than the actual, this may be due to rounding, multiple responses, or the exclusion of don't knows or not stated responses.

The publication of these findings abides by local rules and regulations.

The author(s)
  • Michael Clemence Trends & Foresight

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