1. UK ad spend accelerates but slowdown predicted
Despite uncertainties, UK ad spend was up 7.8% year on year in 2018 and is predicted to hold steady with a rise of 6.1% this year. However, growth will slow into 2020, with an increase of 4.6% forecast.
Currently, digital remains dominate and is responsible for more than 60% of total advertising, of which more than half is search. It is still growing at double-digit pace – 11% is forecast for 2019.
TV ad spend is expected to remain stable at around £4.5bn through 2019 and 2020, still accounting for around 20% of media investment. Meanwhile, outdoor spend is expected to see growth of around 3% in 2019 and 2020 as digital formats drive up spend.
Radio also appears set to hold on to its revenue base this year, followed by a predicted 2% growth next year. However, newspapers and magazines now account for less than 10% of media investment on a combined basis in 2019 and beyond, down from more than 50% as recently as 2004.
Source: Group M
2. Shop price inflation accelerates again
Shop price inflation accelerated in May to 0.8%, up from 0.4% in April and well above the 12- and six-month average increases of 0.2% and 0.6% respectively.
Non-food prices climbed by 0.2% compared to a 0.6% decline in April, marking the second month of non-food inflation this year. Meanwhile, food inflation continued to slow to 1.8% from 2.2% the month prior.
Fresh food inflation remained steady at 1.5% in May, above the 12- and six-month average price increases of 1.3% and 1.4% respectively.
Additionally, ambient food inflation also slowed to 2.1%, down from 3.2% in April.
Analysts say the May acceleration in shop price inflation is likely due to growth in non-food prices, triggered by various sectors such as furniture and health and beauty adjusting their prices.
3. Consumer confidence gets a boost in May
Although still very much in negative territory, consumer confidence increased by three points in May to -10, up from -13 in April. However, this is still lower than the -7 recorded for the same period last year.
People’s feeling about their personal financial situation over the last 12 months and next 12 months were up four points (to 3) and five points (to 5) respectively compared to April.
Feelings about the general economic situation over the past 12 months were flat on the month but fell six points compared to a year go. There is much more optimism about the economy over the next year, with the measure up five points compared to April, although this is down eight points year on year.
The major purchase index shows people were also more likely to make a big purchase, such as furniture or electrical goods. This measure was up two points to a score of one. However, a four-point increase on the savings index suggests consumers are thinking about their cash more carefully in the longer-term.
4. Brits increasingly worried about using the internet
Internet users in the UK are increasingly worried about being online, with nearly four in every five (78%) holding concerns. This is up from 59% last year.
Similarly, 61% of adults have had a potentially harmful online experience in the past year, with this figure climbing to 79% among children aged 12 to 15.
However, more than half (59%) of adults, agree that the benefits of going online outweigh the risks, and 61% of children think that the internet makes their lives better.
People’s online time is growing by 7% annually with the average UK adult spending three hours 15 minutes per day online last year, marking a rise of 11 minutes since 2017.
Some 27 million people in the UK use the internet to shop online.
Meanwhile, support for greater online regulation also appears to have increased in a range of areas. Most adults favour tighter rules for social media sites at 70% in 2019, up from 52% in 2018.
5. Majority of smart speaker users don’t use the device to shop online
Smart speaker owners only use their devices twice a week on average, while 18% of respondents say they use it daily, and 14% confess to using it rarely, if ever.
Less than a quarter (21%) admit to having used the device to shop online, and of those people, just 13% use their smart speaker to shop more than once a month.
Some 9% say they’ve ordered the wrong item when shopping via the speaker and 12% gave up during the process and continued their shopping journey elsewhere.
When asked why they hadn’t made an online purchase using their smart speaker, 23% of respondents say, ‘I don’t know how’, followed by 21% who suggest, ‘I don’t want to accidentally order the wrong thing’ and ‘the process is too complicated’ (16%).