Budget 2015: Pennies Welcome – Pounds Preferred

David McCorquodale, KPMG head of retail, comments on the impact of today’s budget announcements on the UK High Street.

David said: “The Chancellor’s announcement today saw many incremental ways of putting more pennies in to consumer’s pockets. Increases in the minimum wage and personal allowance combined with a ‘penny off a pint’ and a ‘tenner in the tank’ all point towards shoppers receiving a boost to their disposable income levels.

“These measures are welcomed and the challenge for the retail industry is to be first to grab that share of household wallet from other industries such as casual dining and leisure.

“However, the retail sector will look to the next government to give consumers the confidence to shake off personal austerity and start to feel prosperity. When economic recovery eventually leads to real wage rate inflation, only then will consumers feel confident enough to spend a pound rather than a penny.

“A positive sounding budget but still against a background of high national debt and low growth ahead meaning the retail sector has to continue to fight hard for market share growth to drive returns.”