Real incomes fell by 2% in early 2017 compared to just a year before…the steepest fall since 2011 according to the ONS. Slow wage growth and rising prices continue to combine to squeeze disposable incomes. Whilst wages stagnate with many public sector workers trapped on 1% wage increases, prices continue to escalate as the falling pound makes imported goods more expensive to retailers who inevitably pass these costs through to the consumer. Yet consumers still appear unaware of the pending gloom as they rack up debt and continue spending. Consumer debt levels are reported to be approaching those reached on the eve of the 2008 financial crisis with savings at an all time low as consumers use savings to fund their shopping sprees.