Toys stay strong as kids' spending drops, says Childwise

The 2018 Childwise Monitor report reveals pocket money increases, fall in children's spending habits and retained strength in toys.
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The average weekly pocket money for children aged five to 16 has increased to £11.20, with toys remaining strong among kids' spending habits.

The 2018 Childwise Monitor report has uncovered that while fewer children are receiving pocket money or ad-hoc handouts this year, those still receiving a weekly income are getting more than the average of £9.70 one year ago.

The same survey reveals that children's spending has dropped across all 16 measured spending categories year on year, but that toys are one of the least affected.

"Parents are tightening their belts and are exerting more control over how their children spend money, leaving children with less disposable income as a result," said Simon Leggett, research director at Childwise.

The 2018 Childwise Monitor is a comprehensive annual report looking at five to 16 year olds' media consumption, purchasing and social habits as well as key behaviour. More than 2000 children in schools across the UK completed in-depth online surveys for the report.

The data shows that three in ten children now buy toys for themselves. One in six children bought toys for themselves over the previous month, while more than a third of five to 16 year olds have toys bought for them by other people.

The survey asked children about their income, whether they received pocket money or an allowance or earned money for themselves, and how much they receive per week.

"It appears that children are beginning to feel the pinch," added Leggett. "Reduced levels of consumer spending over the last year appear to be having an impact on children's purchasing habits.

"Children's spending across all categories is down this year, especially among non-essential things such as going out, movies and apps.

"It may be that parents are exerting more control over where their children's money is spent, focusing on their needs rather than their wants."

The total spending power of UK children is £7,960 million per year. With spending down, the category that suffers the most this year is going out, falling by 12 per cent.

The same survey has also uncovered a number of points surrounding children's social habits such as YouTube viewing which remains the top way of watching on-demand content and that children aged nine to 16 spend an average of 2.7 hours online a day.

Children are also taking to virtual reality with 25 per cent having mobile VR equipment at home, 11 per cent with Playstation VR, 10 per cent with Oculus Rift and six per cent with HTC Vive.

Childwise is an independent market research agency specialising in children and young people with a programme of published independent research and conducts research for government agencies, charities, broadcasters, publishers and brands.

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