The ONS has updated its Opinions and Lifestyle survey through to the end of January. As fears of the Omicron variant subside, households’ concerns are shifting to the rising cost of living.
52% of adults report that they were worried about the effect of COVID-19 on their lives, a fall of 9% since the previous reporting period in early January. This reflects the loosening of restrictions over January and the evidence that Omicron is less severe than previously expected.
Over late January, 69% of adults reported that their cost of living has increased over the last month, up from 62% in early November. These increases are being particularly felt by people over the age of 50, with 80% reporting that their cost of living had increased.
Of the individuals reporting that their cost of living is rising, 89% of them are seeing increases in food prices. These concerns have persisted for a number of weeks. It is highly likely that this will have a considerable impact on shopper behaviour.
Alongside the rising price of food, energy and fuel price increases are concerns for 80% and 68% of those who report their cost of living has increased. While regional differences do exist, rising prices are being felt across the country.
These results illustrate the pressure energy and food price rises are having on households.
For more information, see our latest Viewpoint report: Will Inflation Kill the Recovery.
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