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    ‘Brits still looking to cut grocery spend despite falling inflation’

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    Despite falling food price inflation, most Brits are still actively looking for ways to reduce their weekly grocery bill while many are avoiding impulse buying, a recent report has shown.

    According to a recent report from Barclays, that also shows that consumer card spending slowed to 1.6 per cent growth in April, a record 73 per cent of Brits are actively looking for ways to reduce the cost of their weekly shop – the highest percentage since Barclays started tracking in January 2023 – as grocery spending growth reached its lowest level (1.0 per cent) since June 2022 (-0.8 per cent). More broadly, spending on essential items grew just 1.7 per cent year-on-year in April, the lowest rise so far this year.

    Two in five (44 per cent) supermarket savers are avoiding impulse buys at the checkout, while 37 per cent are stockpiling their go-to products when they are on offer, and three in 10 (29 per cent) are batch cooking to save money. Meanwhile, more shoppers have noticed supermarket products running out of stock, at 60 per cent (vs. 50 per cent last month), with fruit and vegetables, and eggs and dairy emerging as the most cited items impacted.

    Despite the overall slowdown in spending growth, Brits’ confidence in their ability to manage their household finances reached its highest level since November 2021, at 71 per cent. Consumers’ confidence in their ability to live within their means also improved, increasing by two percentage points month-on-month to 74 per cent. Confidence in their ability to spend more on non-essential items reached 56 per cent, up from 55 per cent in March.

    Overall retail spending contracted by -0.1 per cent, marking the first month of decline for the category since September 2022, as in-store shopping was hampered by April’s cold snap. However, pharmacy, health & beauty retailers bucked this trend, seeing a 4.9 per cent increase, boosted by a number of macro factors, such as the “lipstick effect”, the wellness boom and viral makeup and skincare videos.

    Jack Meaning, chief UK economist at Barclays, said, “With inflation expected to have dropped back to 2 per cent in April, and with many anticipating a boost from the National Living Wage increase, it is encouraging to see consumer confidence picking up. Given the long squeeze consumers have faced, it may take time for this to translate into stronger discretionary expenditure, but easing interest rates in the second half of this year should spur consumers’ confidence and spending.”

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