Most U.S. and U.K. adults don’t believe they’re in a better financial state compared to a year ago, according to findings from ACA member company Encore in partnership with Morning Consult.
04/14/2023 1:30 P.M.
2.5 minute read
A recent study published by Encore Capital Group, an ACA International member company based in San Diego, California, found that most American and British adults don’t feel that they’re in a better financial position than they were the previous year.
The study polled 3,000 people in Encore’s largest markets, the United States and United Kingdom, on their feelings about personal finances and the economy, as well as the impact of inflation on spending and debt.
Additionally, the study asked people how they prioritize economic freedom, and what they believe are the most valuable tools to achieve it. The research was commissioned by Encore and conducted by Morning Consult.
Key findings from the study include:
- “Fewer adults in the U.S. and the U.K. believe they’re better off financially than they were the year before compared to the 2021 Encore Economic Freedom Study. Most adults don’t believe they’re in a better financial state compared to the previous year, and less than half of respondents report feeling comfortable with their current financial state.
- Inflation had a major impact on personal spending for more than 90% of surveyed adults. Consumers report spending more on groceries, gas/utilities and housing in both the U.S. and the U.K. Just 17% of U.S. adults and 14% of U.K. adults reported an increase in how much they contributed to their savings in 2022.
- U.S. adults are more likely to have a positive outlook on their economic future compared to U.K. adults, who demonstrated a significant decrease in their confidence in the future of the economy. However, respondents tended to have a more positive outlook on the future of their own personal finances (61% U.S., 47% U.K.) as opposed to the overall economy (39% U.S., 17% U.K.).
- Thirty-five percent of Americans and 43% of U.K. adults report having past-due debt, and adults in both countries are more likely to be accumulating, rather than reducing, past-due debts. More Americans (59%) than their U.K. counterparts (52%) are confident in their ability to pay down debt in the coming year, but they’re aligned on how to tackle their debt—pay it down in small increments over time.
- Almost all surveyed adults agree that economic freedom is a priority in their life (91% U.S., 84% U.K.); Americans are more likely than U.K. adults to name economic freedom as their top priority.”
“Because we work with consumers every day, it’s important for us to understand how people feel about their finances, the stresses they face and the tools they need to achieve their goals,” said Ashish Masih, Encore’s president and CEO. “The learnings from this study not only help Encore be a better and more empathetic partner to our consumers, but they also provide insights for anyone committed to helping others achieve financial well-being.”
The survey affirmed many of the approaches Encore takes with consumers today. For example, when asked what would be most helpful in reducing or eliminating debt, “being able to pause debt repayment if I experience hardship” was cited as one of the most important factors for all surveyed adults.
The online survey was commissioned by Encore Capital Group and conducted by Morning Consult from Dec. 9 to Dec. 22, 2022, among 3,000 adults, including 1,500 U.S. adults and 1,500 U.K. adults.