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UK consumers more focused on inflation than Brexit, HSBC survey finds

By Conor Coyle

Date: Monday 13 Mar 2017

UK consumers more focused on inflation than Brexit, HSBC survey finds

(ShareCast News) - UK citizens have remained rather unfazed by the prospect of Britain's departure from the European Union, but have expressed concern about rising cost inflation, HSBC found in its 'Anatomy of the Consumer' survey.
In the wide-ranging survey from what is the world's fourth largest bank, coffee drinking has continued its inexorable rise, while across the wider food sector Tesco remains a clear favourite of the average Brit, along with a tipple of Smirnoff vodka or Johnnie Walker whisky made by Diageo.

Rising living costs was an issue which most worried people, with the research finding 49.3% of people expressing concern, which put it above health issues (44.5%), terrorism (35.8%) and the effects of Brexit (32.1%).

HSBC's analysts were surprised that there was a disparity between worries relating to rising inflation and Brexit, believing the two to be inextricably linked.

"We find this intriguing because the two are interlinked in our view, with rising living costs being at least partly a function of the Brexit vote," the report said.

Consumers appear to prefer Costa for their coffee fix rather than Starbucks, with three times more people saying that they choose the British chain over the US company, despite the number of stores ratio between the two remaining at around two to one. The net trend of drinking coffee is up 5% compared with the previous year's research.

Tesco emerged on top of the grocery section, with 62% of consumers placing the supermarket in its top three ahead of the likes of Sainsbury's and Asda.

The bank also provided recommendations for ten different stocks based on the research.

Alcoholic drinks maker Diageo was one of those which was recommended as a 'buy', with the consumer report suggesting that whisky and vodka are maintaining high levels of consumption despite a rise in popularity of gin.

Other firms which were rated as 'buy' off the back of the Anatomy of the Consumer survey were Costa-owner Whitbread, budget airline Easyjet, Tesco, meat-packing specialist Cranswick, Samsonite, Primark-owner and sugar producer AB Foods and discounter B&M.

HSBC recommended 'reduce' for Restaurant Group and Ladbrokes based on increasing competition in their respective sectors.

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