Households ‘feeling downbeat about their financial outlook for next 12 months’

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Households’ expectations for their finances in the year ahead have turned negative, according to an index.

When people were asked about their financial outlook for the next 12 months, the Scottish Widows Household Finance Index produced an overall score of 49.2 in the third quarter.

This was down from 50.3 in the previous quarter.

Scores below 50 indicate people perceive a deterioration and those above 50 suggest that households believe the situation is improving.

The youngest age group, between 18 and 34, bucked the overall trend, remaining upbeat generally, with an index score of 56.2.

The coronavirus pandemic has also led to changes in long-term financial planning when it comes to supporting their families, the findings suggest, with about one in 10 (9%) having increased the scope of their long-term financial planning to include more generations as a result.

Jackie Leiper, pensions, stockbroking and distribution director, Scottish Widows, said: “UK households recorded slightly weaker trends as the post-lockdown recovery began to subside and living costs surged.

“Overall financial wellbeing and cash available to spend fell at slightly quicker rates than in the second quarter.

“However, our long-term financial planning trackers highlighted a wave of positive developments in quarter three.

“Around 10% of households are now considering intergenerational planning, which suggests that Covid-19 has made more families think about how important it is to consider being financially prepared for the unexpected.”

The survey is based on monthly responses from around 1,500 people aged 18 to 64.

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