Spare cash in very short supply

More people than ever before have no cash to spare, with people's financial security continuing to plummet, a survey shows.

Rising food, energy and petrol costs are leaving around a third of people with absolutely nothing left in their pocket, making budgeting increasingly difficult.

The new Consumer Confidence Survey also shows that around three-quarters of people have been forced to change the way they shop because goods are more expensive. Two-thirds have had to buy cheaper brands to stay afloat.

Shoppers are expected to spend more once the Olympics begin next year, as experts believe the sports event "will lift confidence". Until then, the economic health of high street will remain poor.

The survey, published by the British Retail Consortium and Nielsen, says its latest quarterly index of consumer confidence is up five points to 72, compared with the previous period, but still has some way to go to match even last year's level.

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