Two trends propping up economic growth in Britain have suddenly reversed as more consumers realise the damage from Brexit is permanent, not transient

British consumers have suddenly decided to start hoarding cash. Reuters / Arnd Wiegmann

British consumers have stopped taking on more debt and started saving their money again, in a sudden reversal of two trends that propped up economic growth in Britain over the last year. If the trend continues — and Credit Suisse analysts Neville Hill and Sonali Punhani told clients recently they believe it will — it will hurt one of the main drivers of GDP growth in the UK: consumer spending.

Since the EU Referendum of 2016, Brits have done two things with their money:

  • Go shopping on credit, racking up debt.
  • Reduce their monthly saving to historic lows.

That has kept a rising tide of consumer cash washing through the economy.

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