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Brits set for big-ticket purchases in next six months – but are consumers really feeling more confident?

Blog post   •   Mar 30, 2015 07:30 BST

More than one in five British adults are planning to splash out on a family holiday abroad and a home improvement project in the next six months – and almost one in ten plans to buy a new car – according to new elephant research.

Whilst the new data, on the face of it, suggests a mood of confidence, with many people also planning to spend on a new computer or smart phone, go on a spending spree – and 5% planning to buy a new house – the elephant data also reveals that there has been little change in the figures since summer 2014.

If intentions to spend on major items can be judged as a measure of consumer confidence, then the tracking elephant data would suggest positive consumer outlook has been flat since summer 2014 when the research was previously conducted.

Set against consumer plans to spend on major items, the tracking study also explores attitudes to treats - often the small, discretionary spend on feel good items such as a nice bottle of wine, cinema tickets or a meal out. Overall, more than six in 10 adults are spending on treats, but again there is little change noted on earlier research conducted during the summer of 2014.

The findings come from elephant’s 19th edition of Britain Speaks, a rolling consumer research study that has been running since 2012. The study has tracked consumer outlook, spending and budgeting plans through a challenging economic period. Whilst there have been many indications of broad economic recovery, the elephant research suggests this may not yet been widely felt by many consumers on a day to day level - or at least has not resulted in major changes in spending plans.

Full findings from this and three additional pieces of research will be shared at a free elephant insight event in London in June. For more information or to book at place at the event contact