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Money going into piggy bank

This week’s roundup includes a rise in the number of young people wanting more ethical pensions, an increase in retail sales driven by food and clothing prices, a jump in UK house prices and a decrease in debit card spending abroad among UK tourists.  

More young people ‘want ethical pensions’  

Young savers are more likely to view investments made relating to their pension as their responsibility, compared with older people. According to a YouGov survey, 13% of savers aged between 18 and 34 years old believed it was their job to make sure their money was invested ethically.  

The poll, which questioned 2,100 people, found that among 45 to 54-year-olds, only 6% thought the same as the younger savers, while 7% of over-55s agreed with the sentiment.  

Charlene Cranny, from the UK Sustainable Investment and Finance Association, said: "We would urge working millennials who will all be enrolled in a workplace pension over the course of the next few months to start seriously thinking about, and questioning, where their pensions are being invested.” 

The YouGov findings revealed that more than 44% of millennial savers believed backing ethical firms as part of their pensions savings could bring about positive social change, compared with 34% of investors overall.  

Food and clothing prices drive rise in retail sales  

Increasing food and clothing prices, driven upwards by the weakerpound, led to a rise in retail sales in September. Figures from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and KPMG revealed that like-for-like retail sales rose by 1.9% last month - far higher than the 0.4% increase for the same period of 2016.  

According to the data, total sales climbed 2.3% during the same period, as analysts pointed to the filtering through of price risesbeing among the reasons for the jump.  

The survey revealed that food sales increased by 2.5% on a like-for-like basis during the three months to September, while non-food sales rose by just 0.5%.  

Helen Dickinson, Chief Executive of the BRC, said: “Retailers have worked hard to keep a lid on price rises following the depreciation of the pound, but with a potent mix of more expensive imports and increasing business costs from various government policies, something had to give at some point.” 

UK house prices ‘continuing to rise’  

House prices across the UK have increased by an average of 4% in the past year to September, new data from Halifax has revealed. According to Britain’s largest lender, prices are rising at an annual rate of 2.6%, as a shortage of properties and growth in full-time employment continue to support prices.  

Halifax said the average price of a house or flat in the UK had now risen to a new high of £225,109. The 4% annual rise in house prices is calculated by comparing the three months to September with the same three months last year.  

Russell Galley, Managing Director of Halifax Community Bank, warned: “Increasing pressure on spending power and continuing affordability concerns may well dampen buyer demand.” 

While the Halifax figures are not broken down by region, other research has suggested that although house price growth is slowing in the south of England, it is rising in parts of the Midlands and the north of England.  

UK tourists ‘using debit cards less while abroad’  

Debit card spending among UK tourists has fallen sharply compared with last summer, new data has suggested. According to UK Finance’s monthly debit card report, spending on UK debit cards overseas was down by nearly 13% in August compared with the same month in 2016.  

The data revealed that a total of £3.16 billion was spent overseas during August, representing a small increase from July, but a marked drop from £3.61 billion in August 2016. Analysts claimed that the strength of the pound was one factor impacting the amounts that people were spending.  

In its monthly debit card report, the body said: “This decrease, in part, highlights the growing consumer preference to holiday in the UK as sterling's purchasing power abroad has weakened considerably since the Brexit vote.” 

UK Finance’s study found that overall, debit card spending has increased, along with the use of contactless payment.