Economic uncertainty can have a significant impact on consumer sentiment and therefore on spending, writes Laura Frost, investment director at M&G Investments.
Despite the uncertainty surrounding Brexit - when and if the UK leaves the European Union - consumers are seeing their incomes rising faster than inflation.
According to the ONS data from March 2019, household income rose 3.4% year-on-year from November to January while the Consumer Price Index (CPI), averaged 2% during that time.
In addition, February CPI has fallen further to 1.8%.
However, this is unlikely to result in a splurge at the shops as consumers, like businesses, remain cautious about their spending: many of which are putting off big spending decisions until there is greater clarity about both our political and economic future.
We have analysed the cost of everyone's favourite Easter treats and found that extortionate levels of seasonal price inflation can be seen across a number of brands.
On an M&G research trip to the local shops, we found premia as high as 54%.
Compare the price per gram of some of your high street favourites, and you could be being charged over 50% more for the same brand of chocolate when you buy an Easter egg.
We may not realise that we are falling victim to 'egg-flation', but here are some of the worst offenders:
Of the small sample we looked at, even the smallest 'egg-flation' of 9% still looks pretty high.
If you like Cadbury Twirls or Maltesers, you will not suffer too much of a price increase. But if your Easter egg of choice is Cadbury Caramel or Galaxy Minstrels, you willl end up paying about 1.5x as much for your usual chocolate bar in the shape of an Easter egg.
Will this put us off buying chocolate eggs or other Easter goods? Probably not: this year, UK consumers are expected to spend more than £1bn on Easter in 2019.
Partner Insight: In this environment, a well-resourced credit research team is essential and having traders to keep check on markets is very helpful too, according to Fidelity fixed income managers Sajiv Vaid, Peter Khan and Kris Atkinson
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