Consumers will feel the pinch

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HALF of consumers expect their budgets to be squeezed even harder in 2014, consumer group Which? says.

Despite recent signs of improving confidence amid better news about the economy, 49 per cent of more than 2,000 people surveyed in December predict their finances will come under increased pressure this year.

Less than a third of those asked expect their family’s financial situation to improve in 2014 – and after a string of price hike announcements by energy firms, 60 per cent of consumers said they are already ‘dreading’ the cost of their winter fuel bill.

Which? executive director Richard Lloyd said: ‘We want a New Year resolution from the government to do more to help hard-pressed consumers in 2014 by getting a grip on the cost of essential bills and a resolution from firms to make sure they are giving customers the best possible value for money.’