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Thursday, 19th March 2015

UK: Wealth in the Downturn: Winners and Losers

Source: Social Market Foundation (UK)

From Executive Summary:

Following the financial crisis, UK households experienced the longest period of falling real wages since records began. They were poorly prepared for this, having run down savings and taken on increasing amounts of debt during the 2000s. It is estimated that the high levels of household indebtedness held back consumer spending, thus deepening the 2008-09 recession.

The economic uncertainty during the downturn prompted a reversal: saving dramatically increased and indebtedness fell. Now, having repaired their balance sheets, forecasters expect consumer spending to begin to rise again. Alongside this, debt is expected to increase, and savings to fall.

However, the analysis in this report suggests that we should not be so sanguine about the UK’s personal finances. Whilst it is true that on average there has been deleveraging, a very different picture emerges among some groups. In particular, those on the highest incomes are more secure today than those in the highest incomes before the downturn; but the opposite is true for those on the lowest incomes.

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Having begun his career in academic libraries, Adrian Janes has subsequently worked extensively in public libraries, chiefly in enquiry work as an Information Services librarian. In this role he has had particular responsibility for information from both the UK Government and the European Union. He wrote a detailed report on sources for the latter which was published by FreePint in 2007, and has contributed articles to FreePint and ResourceShelf. He is involved in training in information literacy and the use of online reference resources.

A Contributing Editor to DocuTicker, he also write reviews for Pennyblackmusic.

More articles by Adrian Janes »



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