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Citizens Advice Exeter announces results from second economic well-being survey

Leading local advice charity, Citizens Advice Exeter, today releases the results from its second economic well-being survey. The first survey ran in September.

A summary of the results of the survey, run in partnership with the Express and Echo, Radio Exe, Exeter City Council and Exeter Chamber of Commerce, will be published on the charity’s website – and can be found below.

Citizens Advice Exeter Chief Executive Steve Barriball said: “The overall picture suggest that things have remained pretty much the same for most people since we did the first survey in September 2015. Whilst those who had seen their incomes increase were higher, there was no change in expenditure levels.  This suggests that household budgets remain under pressure even with lower fuel and utility bills. We intend running a further survey in the Spring to gauge any further trends going forward. “

Steve continued: “56% of respondents, the same as last time, told us they were worried about their financial situation. 41% of respondents had no savings, whilst 40% had no debts. Of those with debts the top three areas of borrowing were loans and overdrafts (38%), credit cards (35%), and loans from family or friends (21%). These borrowing types all showed increases on the previous survey.”

Steve finished by saying: “In terms of job satisfaction, 17% of respondents gave a score of 5 out of 5, with 9% scoring 1 out of 5.  Overall, some 89% of respondents were fairly happy or better with their employment situation. This is 5% higher than in September. 51% of respondents had received a pay rise in the last year, but more worryingly 30% had not received a pay rise in the last two years.”

Rob Sims, News Editor, Express & Echo, said: “”These results show a mixed picture. More than half of those questioned are worried about their financial position. Forty per cent have debts and a similar number have no savings to fall back on. On a more positive note, the high levels of job satisfaction is encouraging, and shows Exeter remains a popular location for employees to work. More than half of the respondents have had a pay rise in the last 12 months, and two thirds of people have seen their incomes either rise or stay the same.”

Paul Nero, Radio Exe Managing Director, said: “It looks like people are feeling better about their jobs in the area. Six in ten people (59%) score job satisfaction as either 4 or 5 out of five, an increase from last autumn when it was 55%. And now fewer people say satisfaction is just 1 or 2 out of five: down from 16% to 11%. Add to that a slight increase in the number of people who’ve seen their incomes rise, then the job situation is looking better. It’s still a concern that more people say they’re worried about things.”

Victoria Hatfield, Exeter City Council Economy & Tourism Manager, said: “The overall picture remains the same in Exeter. Going forward, having regular survey results will enable us all to monitor trends and to establish areas of concern for partnership working.”

Derek Phillips, vice president of Exeter Chamber of Commerce said: “Exeter Chamber’s recent Exeter Business Survey was very positive in terms of sales growth and investment: while this hasn’t yet been reflected in the Exeter Economic Well-Being Survey we hope that this will filter through in coming months. We are pleased to see that the Christmas period doesn’t seem to have increased borrowings over this quarter.”