Summer holiday demand evident, despite cost of living crisis

KPMG UK Consumer Pulse assesses the latest consumer spending

KPMG UK Consumer Pulse assesses the latest consumer spending

  • 41% of consumers surveyed say they will holiday in the UK this summer.  And 29% say they will holiday abroad.
  • 36% of consumers say they won’t be taking a holiday this summer – 14% say due to the level of their essential costs.
  • One in five consumers say they won’t be spending on summer goods/experiences this year.
  • Over half of consumers polled say they have cut non-essential spend in first half of 2023.
  • Eating out is the most common cutback, say 71% of consumers.
  • Nearly 40% of consumers say they are buying more own brand or value produce this year.
  • Utilities cost is the most common deterrent to spending more on non-essentials.

New research released today from KPMG shines a light on consumer spending, summer holiday demand, and the barriers to unlocking further spend this year.

This month (June), 3,000 consumers across age and income groups and UK regions were posed a range of questions about spending and savings by KPMG UK’s Consumer Pulse survey.

Holidaying was the most common big ticket spend that had either already occurred (35%) so far in 2023 or is planned (28%) for later in the year.  

Taking a holiday is also the most common priority from available summer budget, with:

  • 41% of consumers saying they will holiday in the UK.
  • 29% saying they will holiday abroad.

Over a third of consumers (36%) said that they will not take a summer holiday, however:

  • 14% said due to their household essential costs.
  • 12% cited other reasons.
  • 5% say they have already holidayed this year.
  •  5% say they are going on holiday later in the year.

Asked about the cost of their summer holiday: a third of consumers said the cost would be higher this year than in 2022 due to a higher price of travel.

One in 10 said their holiday was costing more this year as they are upgrading compared to last year.

A third of consumers said their holiday will cost the same as in 2022.  While one in 10 consumers reported that despite being able to afford a holiday this summer, they have had to scale back the cost due to their household essential bills. 

Linda Ellett, UK Head of Consumer Markets, Retail and Leisure for KPMG, said:

“Despite being faced with mounting household costs, what’s clear from our research is that consumers, where possible, are still prioritising holidaying this summer. 

“A higher price of travel is making it more expensive to take a summer holiday for many, and some consumers have had to scale back their plans due to that – but it’s clear that whether in the UK or abroad, many people want at least a temporary escape from the cost of living storm clouds.  However, household essential costs have reached a level where one in ten consumers that we surveyed said that they cannot afford to holiday this summer.”

With household bills remaining elevated, over half (55%) of the 3,000 consumers surveyed said that they have reduced their non-essential spending since 2023 began.  This climbs to as high at 69% among 18-24 year olds.

Connect with us

Save, Curate and Share

Save what resonates, curate a library of information, and share content with your network of contacts.

Of those consumers cutting their non-essential spend:

  • 71% say they have reduced their spending on eating out.
  • 63% say they have spent less on clothing.
  • 62% say they have lowered their takeaway spending.

Nearly 40% of consumers are buying more value or own brand produce so far in 2023, while the same amount have been purchasing more promotional or discounted goods.

A quarter of respondents say they are currently having to use savings to help meet their essential household costs.  This was highest among 18-24 year olds, where 43% polled said they were using savings in this way.

When asked what the three main deterrents to spending more income or savings on non-essential goods and services, consumers selected:

  • 51% Utilities costs.      
  • 44% Food & drink costs. 
  • 34% said mortgage related cost, breaking down to:
  • 10% Current mortgage cost. 
  • 7% Concern about higher mortgage when fixed-term deal ends in 2025.
  • 6% Concern about higher mortgage when fixed-term deal ends in 2024.
  • 6% Concern about further variable rate mortgage increases.
  • 5% Concern about higher mortgage when fixed-term deal ends in 2023.
  • 19% said rent cost, breaking down to:
  • 10% Current rent cost.                          
  • 9% Concern about further rent increase.
  • 17% Transport/Vehicle cost.  
  • 6% Childcare cost.
  • 25% Nothing in particular.

Concern about current, and future, rent levels was highest among those aged 18-24.

Concern about current, and future, mortgage rates was highest among those 35-44 – slightly above those aged 25-34.

Utilities cost concern was (equally) highest among those aged 45-54 and aged 55-64.

Linda Ellett added:

“With higher household essential costs having diminished consumer spending power already this year, climbing interest rates continue to further fuel financial anxiety among many homeowners. Some renters are also concerned about the prospect of higher rates for landlords being passed down the chain.

“It’s unsurprising that in this landscape of higher cost pressures that many consumers continue to take steps to reduce costs where they can, while around half of those with savings aren’t planning any big ticket purchases in the remainder of the year.”


Full questions and answers

Consumer Pulse survey questions posed to 3,000 UK consumers (unless stated otherwise) between June 5 and 9 2023, by One Poll, for KPMG UK:

Do you feel more or less financially secure today, than you did at the beginning of January this year? 

  • More:                                23%
  • No more or less:              45%
  • Less:                                   32%

Since the start of the year, due to the cost of your essential bills (e.g. food, energy, fuel, mortgage/rent), how has your levels of non-essential spending been affected? 

  • I had to reduce non-essential spending:                                            55%
  •  My non-essential spending levels remain the same as in 2022:               34%
  • I have been able to increase my non-essential spending:               5%
  • Not sure:                                                                                                   6%

1636 consumers: What non-essential spend(s) have you cut back on so far this year? [Select all that apply]

  • Eating out:                                      71%         
  • Clothing:                                         63%           
  • Takeaways:                                    62%    
  • Food and drink shopping:            43%   
  • Travel/Holiday:                              43%  
  • Home improvements:                  37%  
  • Beauty products & services:        36%  
  • Experiences:                                   35%   
  • Vehicle / transport usage:           26% 
  • Media subscriptions:                    24% 
  • Technology:                                    22% 
  • Meal delivery kits:                         16% 
  • Fitness:                                            14%  
  • Children’s clothing & toys:          10%
  • Pet products:                                 9%
  • Other:                                              2% 

So far in 2023, which, if any, of the following actions are you doing when shopping? [Select all that apply]

  • Buying more own brand / value products:                                        39%
  • Buying more products on promotion or discount:                           37%      
  • Buying fewer items:                                                                               36%
  • Spending more time looking for bargains:                                         34%                    
  • Buying different brands to avoid paying higher cost:                       29%
  • Shopping at multiple stores to find bargains:                                   29%
  • Shopping at less expensive retailers:                                                  28%
  • Stocking up on items in case prices rise:                                            17%
  • Signed-up to retailer loyalty schemes:                                               16%
  • Buying more pre-owned items:                                                           16%
  • Cancelling monthly subscriptions:                                                       15%
  • Buying wholesale/bulk:                                                                         13%
  • Reducing cost of monthly subscriptions:                                           12%
  • Spending less on credit:                                                                         9%
  • Buying more sustainable or ethical produce:                                    7%
  • Spending more on credit:                                                                      7%
  • Buying more premium/finest range instead of eating out:             6%
  • Buying more monthly subscriptions:                                                  3%
  • None of the above:                                                                                14%

Approximately how much money do you have in savings at the moment?

2,454 consumers: Average:         £8165.

Are you currently having to use your savings to help meet your essential household costs (e.g. food, energy, fuel, mortgage/rent)? 

  • ·Yes:                                    25%
  • No:                                     70%
  • Prefer not to say:            5%

What are your main deterrents when it comes to spending more of your income/savings on non-essential goods and services? [Select up to three]

  • 51% Utilities (gas, electricity, water) costs.
  • 44% Food and drink cost.
  • 17% Transport/ vehicle cost.
  • 10% Current mortgage cost.
  • 10% Current rent cost.
  • 9% Concern about further rent increases.
  • 7% Concern about higher mortgage cost when fixed term deal ends in 2025.
  • 6% Concern about further variable rate mortgage increases.
  • 6% Concern about higher mortgage cost when fixed term deal ends in 2024.
  • 6% Childcare cost.
  • 5% Concern about higher mortgage cost when fixed term deal ends this year.
  • 25% None of the above/ nothing in particular.

So far this year, which, if any, of the following ‘big ticket’ purchases have you spent your savings on? [Select all that apply]

  • Holiday(s):                        35%
  • Home improvements:    16%
  • Home appliances:           12%
  • Technology:                     9%
  • A vehicle:                          8%
  • Home electronics:           7%
  • A new home:                   5%
  • None of the above:        11%
  • N/A- I haven’t spent my savings on big ticket items: 34%

In the rest of 2023, do you plan on spending savings on any of the following ‘big ticket’ purchases? [Select all that apply]

  • Holiday(s):                        28%                    
  • Home improvements:    18%
  • Home appliances:           8%
  • A vehicle:                          8%
  • Technology:                     7%                      
  • Home electronics:           7%        
  • A new home:                   6%
  • None of the above:        10%
  • N/A- I don’t plan to spend my savings on big ticket items: 40%

This summer, are you? [Select all that apply]

  • Holidaying in the UK:                                                 41%
  • Holidaying abroad:                                                    29%
  • Not holidaying due to essential costs:                   14%
  • Not holidaying due to other reasons:                    12%
  • Not holidaying as already have this year:              5%
  • Not holidaying as taking on later this year:           5%
  • Not sure:                                                                      10%

1698 consumers: Will your summer holiday [Select all that apply]

  • Cost more than last year due to higher price of travel:                                 33%
  • Cost around the same as last year:                                                                    32%
  • Cost more as upgrading on last year’s holiday:                                               12%
  • Cost less as scaled back plans due to household essential costs:                11%
  • Cost less as scaled back plans due to higher price of travel this year:         4%
  • Cost less as lowering cost by holidaying with family or friends:                   3%
  • Not sure:                                                                                                                14%

With the budget available to you, how will you prioritise summer related spend this year? [Select up to three]

  • Holiday(s):                                                                                                              34%
  • UK days out/events:                                                                                             30%
  • Eating out:                                                                                                              20%
  • Clothing/footwear/accessories:                                                                        15%
  • Garden accessories/garden furniture:                                                              13%
  • Drinking out:                                                                                                          10%
  • Beauty products and treatments:                                                                      6%
  • Not sure:                                                                                                                15%
  • Won’t be spending anything on summer goods/ experiences this year:              20%

What are your top considerations when purchasing goods and services in 2023? [Select up to three]

  • Price:                                                81%
  • Quality:                                           59%
  • Convenience:                                 25%
  • Sustainability:                                19%
  • Loyalty benefits:                            16%
  • Customer experience:                  12%
  • Ethics:                                              8%    
  • Data privacy:                                  6%
  • Other considerations:                  3%


Media contact:

Steven Reilly-Hii, Media Relations Manager, KPMG LLP,

E: ,

T: 07510 376635.

About KPMG UK:

KPMG LLP, a UK limited liability partnership, operates from 20 offices across the UK with approximately 17,000 partners and staff. The UK firm recorded a revenue of £2.72 billion in the year ended 30 September 2022.  

KPMG is a global organization of independent professional services firms providing Audit, Legal, Tax and Advisory services. It operates in 143 countries and territories with more than 265,000 partners and employees working in member firms around the world. Each KPMG firm is a legally distinct and separate entity and describes itself as such. KPMG International Limited is a private English company limited by guarantee. KPMG International Limited and its related entities do not provide services to clients.