We may not be eating out so much now but that hasn’t stopped our appetite for takeaways. Today Domino’s Pizza reported strong sales growth in its core UK and Ireland markets of 4.5% and 7.5%, saying it expected to see continued growth in the UK and Ireland, while investment in its international operations would “have an impact on overall profitability in the short term.”
The company’s operations in Norway have hurt revenues as it seeks to integrate the Dolly Dimple stores it bought in 2017. Meanwhile, on this side of the North Sea, on Saturday 15 December, as the nation was glued to the Strictly Come Dancing Final, Domino’s broke a new online record for pizza orders - up 25% compared to the same day the prior year.
Rising costs and squeezed incomes haven’t slowed down our spending. In fact UK consumer spending is now the highest it has been since 2005. According to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), average weekly spending - adjusted for inflation - rose from £568.70 to £572.60 in the financial year ending March 2018.
Drilling down into the data further, the under-30s spent the most on takeaways, on average £7.80 per week. Under-30s also had the lowest percentage spend on restaurant and café meals.
While this will not be welcome news for the mid-market restaurant chains struggling on our high streets, it’s good news for the likes of Domino’s and of course Deliveroo, Uber Eats and Just Eat who are cashing in on a new generation of time-poor customers, who enjoy the convenience of ordering their meals on their smartphones.
Despite Brexit uncertainties casting a shadow over consumer confidence, a strengthening labour market has supported spending with UK unemployment now at 4% - its lowest point since 1975. While this is behind the US, Germany and the Netherlands, it compares well against France at 9.1%, Italy at 10.5% and Spain at 14.6%.
Wage growth is also showing signs of improvement with the ONS reporting average weekly earnings growth up by 3.4% in the three months to November - the biggest rise since July 2008 and well ahead of inflation at 2.3%.
However, while our consumer-led economy needs Britons spending, the downside is we’re not saving. The ONS UK households saving ratio fell to 3.8% in the latest quarter, the lowest since records began in 1963. It’s been as high as 14% in the early 1990s. This means households have been relying on loans and credit cards to cover basic everyday living expenses, encouraged by record low interest rates since the financial crisis ten years ago. Saving is either not possible or not seen as a priority.
Small steps can make a real difference
It’s easy to think you can’t make a difference to your financial situation but with a few easy steps you can get into the savings habit. A good starting place is to take a look at your debt and focus on the loans or credit cards with the highest interest rate and work on paying those off first. Even just small extra payments each month can help get your finances back under control.
How many times do you really use that gym membership? Can you cut down on some of the takeaways? Is it time to pay a visit to Aldi or Lidl? Maybe a few small changes could free up some spare cash that could be built up over time into some rainy day savings.
Once in the habit of making extra payments towards paying off debt, once it’s cleared maybe that money could be re-directed towards investing in an ISA? You can start by saving as little as £50 a month with the Fidelity ISA.
ISAs aren’t the only tax-efficient way to save. With a Fidelity SIPP you can start to look after your financial future with a modest sum yet still reap all the tax rewards. Pay just £80 into a pension every month and this will be automatically topped up to £100 because of the tax relief that pension contributions get.
Of course an ISA or a SIPP is just a wrapper around an investment. Choosing the fund or funds to go within the wrapper is hugely important. That’s where our guidance tools can help - check out our website for more information on our PathFinder funds for those looking for a ready-made option based on a risk preference, or for fund recommendations check out our Select 50 list or Tom Stevenson’s ISA fund picks for 2019.
The value of investments and the income from them can go down as well as up, so you may not get back what you invest. This information does not constitute investment advice and should not be used as the basis for any investment decision nor should it be treated as a recommendation for any investment. Reference to specific securities should not be construed as a recommendation to buy or sell these securities and is included for the purposes of illustration only. Select 50 is not a personal recommendation to buy or sell a fund. Eligibility to invest into an ISA or a SIPP and the value of tax savings depends on personal circumstances and all tax rules may change. Withdrawals from a pension product will not normally be possible until you reach age 55. Fidelity Personal Investing does not give personal recommendations. If you are unsure about the suitability of an investment, you should speak to an authorised financial adviser.
Double your money with our ISA prize draw
Invest a lump sum in an ISA online by 31 March 2019, and we’ll give you the chance to win back your initial investment - up to £20,000.
Win back the value of your ISA investment in cash- up to £20,000, (the “Prize Draw”).
Terms and Conditions
1. The promoter of this offer is Financial Administration Services Limited, 130 Tonbridge Road, Hildenborough, Tonbridge, Kent TN11 9DZ (“Fidelity”).
2. To be eligible to enter the prize draw you must be 18 years of age or older and a UK resident. Fidelity employees and its contracted staff are not eligible to enter.
3. Entry into the Prize Draw will constitute your acceptance of these terms and conditions. Entry will be automatic when you make a Qualifying Investment (see below).
4. If you do not wish to be entered into the prize draw, please call our contact centre on 0800 41 41 61 and request to be removed from the draw, after you have made a Qualifying Investment. The contact centre is available between 8am and 6pm, Monday to Friday, and 9am and 6pm on Saturday.
5. The prize draw period is from 18 January 2019 to 31 March 2019 the “Prize Draw Period”). Entries close 31 March at midnight. The Prize Draw amount will match the lump sum amount invested into a Fidelity 2018/19 ISA during the Prize Draw Period and the prize money will be paid in cash into your bank account.
6. Qualifying Investment
- Any lump sum investment made into a 2018/2019 Fidelity ISA during the Prize Draw Period through the Fidelity Personal Investing website: fidelity.co.uk
The following examples, without limitation, will not be Qualifying Investments:
- ISA transfers or re-registrations from other providers
- Investments made through an adviser;
- Investments in the Fidelity Junior ISA;
- Investments via a regular savings plan;
- Investments via a Bed and ISA;
- Investments made over the telephone or through a paper application (investments must be made online through the fidelity.co.uk website in order to qualify).
7. After the Prize Draw Period, the winners will be selected at random. All winners will be drawn after 1 April 2019 and will be notified via email or phone before 30 April 2019. Payment of the prize money will be made within 90 days of the notification. There will be four winners in total.
8. Only one entry per person is available. If multiple ISA investments are made during the Prize Draw Period, the first investment in time will qualify for entry to the Prize Draw, and the amount invested at that point will be the prize amount payable.
9. The winner's prize money will be paid by BACS to your bank account. If we do not hold a bank mandate on the account, you will need to provide those details to receive the prize. Cheques will not be sent in place of providing bank details.
10. Fidelity reserves the right to cancel or amend the prize draw or the rules without notice during the Prize Draw Period. Any cancellation of or changes to the prize draw will be notified to you on the Fidelity website.
11. If you withdraw your qualifying investment from your Fidelity ISA, or add an adviser to your account, within a 12-month period from the date of investment, Fidelity reserves the right to reclaim the prize money awarded.
1. Fidelity shall not be liable for any loss or damage suffered from entry into the prize draw, acceptance of the prize, any defects, delays or inadequacies in the prize or the arrangements surrounding the prize, or from any event beyond the reasonable control of Fidelity. Fidelity shall not be liable in contract, tort, negligence or otherwise for any direct or indirect consequential loss suffered by an entrant in relation to participation in the prize draw. Nothing in these terms and conditions shall operate to exclude or restrict liability of Fidelity from time to time for death or personal injury resulting from negligence.
2. Where relevant, reference in these terms and conditions to the winner includes any person with whom the winner shares the prize.
3. In the event of any dispute regarding the rules, conduct, results and all other matters relating to a prize draw, the decision of Fidelity shall be final and no correspondence or discussion shall be entered into.