Eurotrack: Is the cost-of-living squeeze being felt around Europe?

Lukas PaleckisPolitical Research Executive
March 15, 2022, 3:05 PM GMT+0

Counties across Europe are feeling the pinch, but Britons are most pessimistic about the cost of living over the next year

Households across the UK are preparing themselves for the income squeeze coming their way. Energy bills are set to surge come April, while interest rates, fuel, and food prices are continuing to creep up. A national insurance hike also lies in wait over the horizon.

A new YouGov survey conducted in seven European countries explores how people’s financials have fared in the past 12 months, and attitudes towards the cost of living over the coming year.

The cost of living seems to have already started to creep up for households in Europe as across all seven countries, at least three-fifths say that they have seen a rise over the past 12 months. The Spanish are the most likely to report rising costs (83%), followed by Britons (80%), Germans (78%), Italians (76%), the French (66%), Danes (65%), and Swedes (62%).

Although most say their costs have already risen in the past 12 months, many expect them to continue rising. Though, it is Britons are the most pessimistic over their finances going forward. Nearly nine in ten Britons (88%) expect they will see an increase in the cost of living over the coming year, more than any other country we polled. Increasing costs could see many Britons struggle, given YouGov research late last year found that one in 10 Britons (10%) couldn’t afford an extra £5 per month increase in their living expenses, rising to 25% amongst low-income households.

Breaking the data down into areas of household finance reveals increases in the cost of energy is most concerning to Europeans. Those in Spain and Italy are especially worried, with 92% saying they are either “fairly” or “very” worried about the impact of energy bills over the next 12 months. This compares to 80% of those in Great Britain worried about their fuel costs.

There are similar concerns over a possible increase in food costs. Again, the Spanish and Italians are the most worried (91% and 89% respectively). In Britain, 73% are concerned about price rises to their food bill.

When it comes to the roof over their head, six in ten Spaniards (64%) say they are worried about rent and mortgage payments. Those in Italy and Germany feel the same on the issue (both 58%), as do half of people in France (53%). On the other hand, people in Denmark, Sweden, and Britain are more likely to say they were not worried about these payments over the next year (64%, 56% and 54% respectively).

See full results here

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