The Austerity Index

Launched in 2013, The J. Walter Thompson Austerity Index is a quarterly survey which analyses the impact of prolonged economic adversity on British consumers and markets to diagnose their emotional and rational responses to austerity, delivering the insights needed for brands to respond in real time.

Although many anticipated a quick recovery, the UK’s return to economic growth has turned out to be the slowest on record. Our Austerity Index tracks the effect of austerity on British consumers’ feelings, attitudes and coping behaviours as a result of the government’s fiscal policies.

The quarterly reports use the results of this survey, combined with extensive desk research, expert interviews and vox-pops, to track spending behaviours across 17 demographics and 40 product and service categories.

Each quarterly installment also featured topical sections ranging from Bills & Debt and Health, to Travel, Food & Eating Habits and more.

The index itself is a composite measurement of five key consumer metrics, tracked from a poll of 800 British consumers each quarter using J. Walter Thompson’s proprietary SONAR panel.

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