The share of North East adults concerned about their future financial well-being has increased in the months after the Brexit vote, according to a new survey by insolvency and restructuring trade body R3, and ComRes.
Around one in six (16%) adults across the region think their personal financial situation will worsen over the next six months, compared to 11% in September last year, which was the first time R3 had carried out the survey since the referendum result was confirmed.
And on the other side of the coin, just under a quarter (23%) of adults in the North East believe their finances will improve in the coming six months, which is similar to pre-referendum results of 22%.
Andy Haslam, North East vice chair of R3 and a partner with Tait Walker: “The increase in the number of North East adults who think their personal financial situation will worsen in the next six months is relatively small, and it’s also important to recognise that there is still more optimism in the region than pessimism, but the recent trends we’ve picked up could be the first signs of a shift in attitudes towards personal finances.
“The changes coincide with the period of rising inflation and falling real wage growth, and at the same time, we have also seen the value of the pound fall sharply.  
“So far, in contrast to expectations, the continued consumer confidence across the UK since the vote has kept the economy buoyant – but pessimism seems to be creeping back in.”
The figures for the North East are roughly in line with the national average; a quarter (25%) of British adults think their personal financial situation will improve in the next six months while a fifth (19%) think it will worsen. Across Great Britain as a whole, adults located in the West Midlands hold the highest levels of pessimism (25%) about their personal finances in the next six months.
Andy Haslam is advising anyone who feels their financial situation is starting to get out of control to take proactive steps towards putting things back in order.
He continues: “For those who are expecting their circumstances to worsen beyond their control down the line, professional advice is available to guide them through and hopefully away from difficult financial situations.
“It is important that individuals are able to easily access accurate and effective information, in order to help them plan for their financial future or for any unexpected changes, and to prevent problems from worsening.
“Taking proactive steps towards controlling your spending and debt levels, rather than putting your head in the sand in the hope that your problems all go away, will give you access to the widest range of possible solutions to your money troubles, and will maximise your chances of putting things right in the shortest possible time.”