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The effect of rising prices

A mid-July report from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) says consumers have started shifting back towards shopping in store, although spending online remains high.

But in recent months, according to the ONS Opinions and Lifestyle Survey, people have cut back on food shopping as a result of the cost-of-living crisis.

When asked about their shopping habits in the past two weeks, around half (49%) of adults reported that they were buying less food and 48% reported they had to spend more than usual to get what they normally buy. Although the amount we are buying in food stores has dropped, the percentage of food spending online is still higher than before the coronavirus pandemic.

Analysis of spending data suggests that people aged 55 years and older reduced spending at the start of the pandemic more than younger age groups. After this initial reduction, trends broadly matched between age bands.

“However, more recently, we have seen higher growth in spending for those aged 55 years and over compared with other age groups,” says the ONS. “This could potentially indicate a build-up of involuntary savings during the restrictions period.”

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