Coronavirus is bringing lasting change to the way we all live and spend our money and is ushering in a new era for our economy. It is a time of challenge but it is also an opportunity to do things differently and to build a more inclusive society that works for everyone.
Our new report, Isolation Economy, reveals that a kinder society has emerged during the crisis. We found that 64% of people felt that community ties had strengthened and 10 million adults had volunteered for community activities and organisations. Many people have donated food or money, while more than £1bn has been spent by those keen to help by continuing to pay cleaners and other services even though they can’t be used during lockdown.
This new and caring approach has appeared at a time of profound change in our economy, which has seen a £12.9bn shift in consumer spending habits. With eight million jobs furloughed up to May 17, and many more people working reduced hours, we’re spending much more on groceries, alcohol, entertainment, and hobbies and crafts. But across the wider economy, consumers are spending an average of £4.1bn less per week (£215bn annually) as a result of COVID-19.
Legal & General Group CEO Nigel Wilson says: “The COVID-19 crisis is creating fundamental changes to how we work, live and how we spend both our money and our time. Businesses should prepare for lasting change to the consumer economy and falling levels of demand that other areas of the economy will need to step up to fill. Billions will need to be invested in new growth industries like health, wellbeing and life sciences to replace falling spend and fewer jobs in traditional face-to-face consumer industries like travel, physical retail and hospitality.”