THE LATEST data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) suggests that individuals are feeling the pinch and could be likely to increase borrowing, in the face of higher inflation and Brexit uncertainty.
According to the ONS Wealth and Assets survey, 12 per cent of individuals surveyed between July 2016 and December 2017 said they ‘always’ or ‘most of the time’ ran out of money at the end of the week or month. As a result, many required a credit card or overdraft to get by.
The pressure was particularly acute amongst 16 to 24-year-olds. Almost half (48 per cent) of this group said they would not be able to make ends meet for longer than one month if they lost their main source of income. This figure compares to 26 per cent of respondents in the same age group who were surveyed between July 2014 and June 2016.
In addition, 44 per cent of all respondents predicted they would not be able to make ends meet for longer than three months if they lost their main source of income.
Meanwhile, close to eight per cent of the sample said they would not be able to meet an unexpected expense that was equivalent or greater than a month’s income.
The survey also showed continued interest in property investment, with 42 per cent of self-employed respondents highlighting bricks and mortar as one of the safest ways to save for retirement.
Tom McPhail, head of policy at online investment broker Hargreaves Lansdown, said the figures underscore that household financial resilience remains a critical issue for the government.
“These latest figures show an there are still millions of households and individuals who are just one or two pay cheques away from a financial precipice,” he said.