Rising utility bills are now the single biggest concern for UK consumers with swelling food prices the third biggest worry.

According to Nielsen’s Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions, twice as many UK shoppers than two years ago are worried about rising utility bills, which was a top two concern for 31% of people.

This is followed by the economy, with 23% of people citing it as their top two concern, then rising food prices, named by 22%.

Rising utility bills are now a top-two concern with 8% more UK consumers than in the first quarter of 2011 while 4% more pointed to rising food prices.

Meanwhile the economy and rising fuel prices are a concern for 7% fewer people. 

“It’s hardly surprising that finances dominate our concerns,” says Nielsen managing director for UK & Ireland Chris Morley. “Almost one in three UK consumers have no spare cash once they’ve covered their essential living expenses, much higher than the one in five across Europe as a whole.”