The Office for National Statistics has today published its latest report on economic wellbeing in the UK*.
The report presents a mixed picture for the UK. Strong facts are being met with strong fears.
Commenting on the data, Alistair McQueen, Head of Savings & Retirement at Aviva, said: “Today’s report contains a stream of positive news. Year-on-year, GDP per head has risen 1.2% and household spending per head is up 2.2%, taking us back to levels not seen since 2008. On an annual basis, real household disposable income in 2016 is 1% higher than 2015. This comes at a time of record high levels of employment, record low interest rates and a bullish stock market.
“These strong facts, however, are being met with strong fears. UK consumer confidence in the economy over the next 12 months is the lowest across all EU countries, bar Greece and Bulgaria, driven by a fear of increasing prices. UK consumers are more worried about rising household costs over the coming 12 months, than any other EU country. This echoes Aviva’s own recent research2 where “the significant increase in the price of basic necessities” was identified by consumers as the biggest threat to their standard of living.
“Uncertainty is feeding anxiety in the UK and many drivers of uncertainty are beyond an individual’s control. We can however control our own monthly budgets and our own personal finances. Controlling what we can will help us navigate these uncertain times.”
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Notes to editors:
- Aviva provides life insurance, general insurance, health insurance and asset management to 33 million customers.
- In the UK we are the leading insurer serving one in every four households and have strong businesses in selected markets in Europe, Asia and Canada. Our shares are listed on the London Stock Exchange and we are a member of the FTSE100 index.
- Aviva’s asset management business, Aviva Investors, provides asset management services to both Aviva and external clients, and currently manages over £340 billion in assets. Total group assets under management at Aviva group are £450 billion.
- Aviva helps people save for the future and manage the risks of everyday life; we paid out £34.4 billion in benefits and claims in 2016.
- By serving our customers well, we are building a business which is strong and sustainable, which our people are proud to work for, and which makes a positive contribution to society.
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