UK consumer How has COVID-19 impacted people's financial outlook and consumption intentions in the UK?

UBS Evidence Lab interviewed 1,000 UK consumers on May 12-15th to find out how they have been affected by COVID-19.

04 Jun 2020
  • Respondents' financial outlook improved slightly in May, increasing intention to save in the next three months.
  • While sentiment remains weak, it improved relative to April. The expected change in financial situation was better among low- and middle-income respondents, and in the Midlands, South England and London.
  • Across all income groups and especially in London, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland, more consumers expect to save a larger proportion of their income than a month ago.
  • Overall spend intention remains weak relative to early March.
  • Consumers expect to spend more on homewares and apparel in the next month.
  • They expect to spend more on gambling and grocery post-COVID-19.
  • In the next two weeks, consumers anticipate spending on grocery and meal delivery will be stable.
  • Hotel stay intention (for leisure or business) within 6-12 months post-COVID-19 deteriorated in May.
  • Sainsbury's stores and ASDA online saw an increase in the share of respondents saying they shopped there relative to the previous survey wave.
  • Hand sanitizers, vegetables and fruits, paper towels, trash bags, medication, and batteries saw an increase in buying relative to April.

Expected Change (% Better minus Worse) in Financial Situation in Next 12 Months

Source: UBS Evidence Lab

Expected Change (% More minus Less) in Income Going to Savings Over Next 3 Months

Source: UBS Evidence Lab

Expected Net Change in Spend (% More minus Less)

Source: UBS Evidence Lab

Next 2 Weeks Expected Net Change in Spend (% More minus Less)

Source: UBS Evidence Lab

Top 10 Places Shopped for Groceries in Last 2 Weeks

Source: UBS Evidence Lab

Products that Saw Increase in Buying vs. April

Source: UBS Evidence Lab