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Trajectory Trends Briefing: The Next Six Months
It isn’t over yet. The last few months have seen us transition from the health phase of this crisis to the economic one, crystallised by the crossover we saw in our Trajectory Optimism Index data in September. For the first time since the pandemic began, more people in the UK are concerned about the pandemic’s impact on their finances than the risks to their health.

Crucially, this transition doesn’t mean the pandemic is over – just that the next phase has begun. There is every chance that this next phase is every bit as disruptive as the last.
Recent trends in consumer sentiment have contained both good and bad signs. The national mood remains fairly upbeat – but even the most casual observers of current affairs will have noticed the litany of financial announcements, while millions more will have felt them. Tax rises, benefit downgrades, inflation, supply pressures and the end of furlough.

If consumers are switching gears from health concerns to financial ones, they are following the government, who switched gears a while ago. The change is alarming business leaders – it comes to something when a Tory peer is demanding more immigration during the Conservative Party Conference, as the Chief Executive of Next, Lord Wolfson, has done.

In January we predicted that this would be a year of phases. As we enter this next one we’ll be exploring in depth what that means for spending, socialising and supply over the next six months.

What are the implications for businesses trying to read an ever-changing mood of the nation? Are these just the ‘stresses and strains’ of an economy waking up or a crisis that will shape sentiment for years? What chance a ‘normal’ Christmas? What are the prospects for the doubly whammy of economic constraint and further health restrictions? And finally, what are the scenarios for the Spring?

Winter is coming. But what does it look like for consumers? Join us on October 28th to find out.

Oct 28, 2021 09:00 AM in London

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