The cost of living rises to the top of household concerns

Date : 22 February 2022

ONS has updated its Opinions and Lifestyle survey through to mid-February. As fears of the Omicron variant continue to subside, households’ concerns are becoming focused on the rising cost of living.

43% of adults reported that they were worried about the effect of COVID-19 on their lives, a fall of 11% since the previous reporting period in early February. The falling concern is having impacts on other behaviours across society; only 17% of people continue to work from home permanently, whilst the use of face covering is shops has fallen from 94% to 77%.

Over the first half of February, 76% of adults reported that their cost of living has increased over the last month, up from 69% a fortnight ago.

Of the individuals reporting that their cost of living is rising, 90% 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, with impacts on social welfare. For more information, see our latest Viewpoint report: Will Inflation Kill the Recovery.

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