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When will consumers start to spend again?

Despite the fact there are sporadic signs that the UK economy is improving and may well have bottomed out there is a feeling that UK consumers are retaining cash in their pockets rather than spending on the high street. If this is happening, how and when will UK consumers start to part with their money again?

The problem for many UK consumers is the fact that job security has disappeared in many industries up-and-down the country. We are also seeing wage rises kept to a minimum, the cost of living continue to rise, energy prices moving higher and higher and more and more people struggling. As a consequence consumers in the UK are literally only spending what they need to spend purely and simply to try and maintain a buffer between their income, what they spend and what they have left to save.

There is also the much-publicised situation regarding the UK financial sector and the lack of liquidity in both the personal loans market and the mortgage sector. As we have mentioned on numerous occasions, we appear to be at a "chicken and egg situation" in that what comes first, increased financial liquidity which would improve the business environment in the UK or an improvement in consumer spending which would require risks to be taken by UK consumers?

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