I’ve woken up to apocalyptic financial headlines on the radio every day for months, but I haven’t really noticed anything different. I don’t have a mortgage. I don’t own a car. I’ve still got a job. I’m lucky enough not to be living hand to mouth, and I cook most of my food from scratch, so if my food bills have been increasing I haven’t really felt it.
I write this not to say, ‘I’m all right, Jack!’ but to observe that my personal experience hasn’t reflected the media coverage. Until now.
I’ve been to a couple of restaurants this week that I’ve visited more than once in the past. Whereas both were previously busy and hard to book, they are now almost empty. The food is as good as ever. The prices are unchanged. Yet, on a Friday evening, a restaurant that used to turn people away only served a handful of tables.
I realise that two anecdotes do not constitute data, but it was the first time I’d personally encountered a concrete example that could be attributed to falling consumer confidence. I’m going to be aware of other examples from now on.