M&S Colchester - Exterior

Source: M&S

M&S in Colchester

Family optimism is at its highest level in almost two years, according to the latest results of a quarterly M&S survey of 5,000 adults.

Almost half (45%) said they felt optimistic about their family’s prospects for the next three months, compared with a record low of 32% in September 2022.

One in three (32%) said they now felt more in control of family finances and were looking to make the most of the summer holidays.

M&S’s latest Family Matters Index – which tracks priorities, challenges, and ambitions – is based on online interviews conducted by Yonder of 5,017 adults between 5 and 12 May.

Almost half (45%) were looking forward to an event such as a wedding or concert this summer, and 49% were planning a holiday, with Europe the destination of choice.

Read more: Has Stuart Machin lost his marbles over Gove’s M&S store plan kibosh?

However, value remained of high importance, with 62% ranking it as their single top priority, a four percentage point increase since January.

Latest ONS data showed a slowdown in the soaring rate of food prices and falling fuel prices had contributed to UK inflation dropping to its lowest level in more than a year. The headline rate was 7.9% in the year to June, down from 8.7% in May. Food and non-alcoholic drinks inflation was 17.3% in June, down from 18.3% in May.

Latest Kantar data showed grocery price inflation falling for the fourth consecutive month, to stand at 14.9% year on year in the four weeks to 9 July, down from 16.5% in June’s figures.