UK Consumer Trends: July to September 2023

The latest release of household final consumption expenditure (HHFCE) data for the UK, covering the third quarter of 2023 (July to September), offers insights into consumer trends and economic growth. This accredited National Statistic provides a comprehensive view of household spending on goods and services. Here are the key findings:

  1. Spending Growth:
    • In Quarter 3, 2023, household spending growth, adjusted for inflation, experienced a negative trend, contracting by 0.5% compared to Quarter 2, 2023.
    • Compared to the same period in the previous year (Quarter 3, 2022), household spending increased by 0.7%.
  2. Pre-Pandemic Comparison:
    • When compared to Quarter 4, 2019 (pre-COVID-19 pandemic), household spending showed a decrease of 1.6%, indicating the lasting impact of the pandemic on consumer habits.

Consumer Trends Data:

  • Various datasets, including current price (seasonally adjusted and not seasonally adjusted), chained volume measure (seasonally adjusted and not seasonally adjusted), and implied deflator (seasonally adjusted and not seasonally adjusted), provide a comprehensive overview of household expenditure.

Measuring the Data:

  • The quarterly consumer trends data are published approximately 90 days after the end of the quarter.
  • Data revisions are made in line with the National Accounts Revisions Policy.
  • The Blue Book 2023, released on October 31, 2023, serves as a reference, introducing improvements and revisions to the UK’s National Accounts.
  • The Household Final Consumption Expenditure (HHFCE) excludes specific expenditures like buying or extending a house, investment in valuables, and purchasing second-hand goods.
  • The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has introduced more uncertainty to the estimates of HHFCE, given the challenges in data collection under public health restrictions.