The UK workforce has hit the headlines a number of times in recent years for working behaviour – short lunches and regular overtime being two major issues – but it seems that the rewards for such behaviour is starting to trickle down to the UK employees from the employers.
Government statistics recently released (http://www.statistics.gov.uk/cci/nugget.asp?id=10 ) show that average earnings, excluding bonuses, have risen by 3.8 percent in the year to January 2006. Growth has been achieved for earnings including bonuses too, though at the slightly lower rate of 3.5 percent. Of particular interest is the fact that over the same period to January 2006 consumer prices increased by 1.9 percent which is significantly below the rate of earnings growth.
This means that in real terms the UK employee is richer in 2006 than they were in 2005. Spending on consumer goods, particularly in non-food stores, and, within that group, particularly on clothing, has increased to healthy levels in 2006 as well. We are making more and we are spending more, but what we buy is cheaper, now, in real terms. It’s a good time for the UK consumer.
Following this trend are financial providers such as high-street bank Barclays (http://www.barclays.co.uk ) and others who now offer flexible financial solutions for the UK consumer to utilise their newly-increased-in-value cash flow. Other banks are following suit and third party lenders also seem to be benefiting: for example My payday loan, (http://www.mypaydayloan.co.uk ) offers sort term loans to cover shortfall at end of month – it remains true, after all, that however much we make, there is always an opportunity to spend it!
But aside from personal loans, so credit cards are being held in just as large a quantity as they have been for some time and they are seeing usage increase as the UK employee finds themselves with more disposable income and more flexible methods of freeing up debt and credit. There is an increasing awareness of the options available to the UK consumer, particularly as a result of sites like Moneynet (http://www.moneynet.co.uk ) which provide easy comparisons of financial solutions from various providers, so empowering the consumer through a freedom of information that, until very recently, was the preserve of close followers of the financial institutions and banking policies and offers in the UK.
So the payoff for our extreme working habits seems to be arriving, and it also seems to be the case that we are more financially aware than we have been. Cash flow for the consumer has become as common a concern as it has been for the UK businesses that are more traditionally associated with the term. Let the pay day payoff continue!
All information contained in this article is for general information purpose only and should not be construed as advice under the financial Services act 1986. You are strongly advised to take appropriate professional and legal advice before entering into any binding contracts.
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