Week 29: Health, wealth and happiness

Government talk of cuts and a looming emergency budget are worrying the nation, observes Doug Edmonds, managing director of 2CV

This week’s well-being index drops by 3 points, registering at 37.

Substantial drops in happiness this week suggests economic woes are still weighing heavily on the nation’s mind. With overall happiness levels dropping 7 points, indications show that many remain uncertain about the future. This is reflected with just over one third (35%) of the young people (16-34 year olds) questioned feeling happy. The uncertainty surrounding the future affects spending habits and routines, as people become more wary about how their behaviour could impact on their future.

Marketers know as spending habits are curbed, the morale of the consumer is also dragged down, which could explain the dip in the nation’s mood this week. This is bad news for those who will be trying to increase engagement with consumers as summer approaches.

Financial satisfaction plummets this week, with the female demographic reported at an all time low (18%) and an overall decrease reported across all demographic groups. In particular, the grey market (55-74 year olds) has an 11 point drop, with less than a quarter (22%) of those questioned feeling financial stability. Perhaps revisions to growth forecasts for UK economy are behind the latest bout of instability. With a recent survey claiming that over 5 million homeowners in the UK use a credit card to pay at least one bill per month, this concern is not surprising.

Here are the results by each demographic:

Young People
This week’s figures show a decrease across all aspects, suggesting that the younger generation are feeling low, despite the promise of a warm summer on the horizon. The 7 point drop in happiness levels is the lowest since the first week of this year. This decrease could be linked to a recent study claiming that the growing obsession with social networking sites is making 18 to 24 year olds twice as likely to feel lonely as those over 55.

Middle-aged Band
Surprisingly, the outlook amongst 35-54 year olds is relatively stable this week. Almost two fifths (39%) of those questioned claim to be feeling content in terms of well-being; the only age group to register an increase this week.

Grey Market
Similar to the younger generation, there are notable drops across all aspects this week. Less than one third (30%) of those questioned are feeling healthy, suggesting that whilst the better weather is encouraging some to enjoy more outdoors activities, perhaps the older generation are less able to benefit from this. Happiness amongst this age group also drops by a staggering 17 points this week to 43%, its lowest for nine weeks.

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