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ASR’s UK Survey of Household Finances:
UK Households' persistent, pervasive pessimism

Executive Summary

ASR's fourth annual survey of UK household finances depicts pervasive pessimism among UK households and a deep dissatisfaction with the government’s handling of the economy.

  • 43% of working-age adults believe they will be worse off this time next year, the highest proportion since our survey began in 2009. 
  • 24% feel insecure in their jobs; there has been no improvement in job security over the last four years. 
  • 72% of our survey respondents believe they are saving too little; 51% have saved less than they expected to over the last 12 months. 
  • 37% of households with debt feel over-indebted – not significantly lower than in 2011, though fewer are struggling with repayments. 
  • The availability of credit has improved modestly and only 26% have held back spending due to lack of access to credit over the last year. 
  • 22% have postponed their retirement, 70% say they are not saving enough in their pension, and 49% believe they will be unable to maintain their current living standards in retirement. 
  • A net 40% of respondents disapprove of the government’s handling of the economy, but there is an even split regarding the appropriate pace of fiscal consolidation. 
  • Immigration remains a perennial issue, with 42% listing it among their two most important issues facing the UK. Income and wealth inequality is the next most pressing concern, at 40%.


About this survey

ASR’s annual proprietary survey provides unique insights into UK households’ saving and investment behaviour. This is the fourth ‘wave’ of the survey, which we first launched in June 2009. The fieldwork, conducted October 19th–26th, collected responses from 1,009 UK adults between 25 and 65.