Shoppers are feeling a lot gloomier about their financial prospects this year compared to last, according to the IGD’s latest ShopperTrack research.

Over three-fifths (61%) of them think they will be worse off in the next 12 months, more than double the level (27%) in October 2010.

61% of shoppers say they plan to cut down on eating or drinking out in the year ahead in the face of rising costs such as petrol, while 58% say they intend to spend less on clothing.

Joanne Denney-Finch, chief executive, IGD, said: “Shoppers are clearly feeling a lot more downbeat than they were last year and plan to do some major belt tightening. Shoppers of all ages and across all socio-economic groups are telling us they intend to cut back on non-essentials, such as going to the theatre or on holiday.

“Shoppers seem to be less keen to economise on their food and grocery shopping, with only around a third (32%) citing this as a category they intend to spend less on. But this figure could be even lower, as our research also reveals that 32% of shoppers mistakenly believe that January’s VAT increase applies to all their food and grocery shopping.”