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UK Household Financial Wellbeing At 13-Month Low

UK households' assessment of their financial well-being fell to the lowest level in thirteen months in March, survey data from the IHS Markit showed on Monday.

The IHS Markit Household Finance Index, or HFI, fell to 43.3 in March from 43.4 in February, marking the lowest reading since February 2018.

Households' inclination towards major purchases weakened at the fastest pace since September 2017. The decline was one of the sharpest seen over the past five years.

Job security perceptions were least widespread in three months in March, while living cost perceptions rose sharply for the fifth month.

The survey showed the lowest degree of pessimism about the outlook for financial well-being since November.

However, the index measuring households' inflation expectations hit the highest level thus far this year, suggesting that they expect a slight increase in living costs over the next 12 months.

Majority of households continued to expect that the Bank of England will raise interest rates at some point in the next 12 months.

"March data indicate a degree of resilience for UK household sentiment in response to turbulent domestic political events", Tim Moore, Associate Director at IHS Markit, said.

Regarding the interest rate expectations, Moore said, "Households' views have become less uniform, with the number anticipating a rate cut on the horizon climbing to its highest since December 2016."

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