Britain faces spike in divorces and unhappiness amid cost of living crisis
Divorce rates in the UK will climb at the fastest pace since 1971 and unhappiness will reach the highest levels since record began next year, as British workers get poorer than the French.
Real wages in France are set to overtake British counterparts even though most employees across the Channel work fewer hours, PwC predicts, as real wages in Britain will fall back to levels last seen in 2006 next year.
A squeeze on living standards will see unhappiness among Brits climb to the highest levels since records began a decade ago and the Big Four consultancy firm also predicts a surge in marriage breakdowns next year after the Government made it easier for married couples to formally separate.
Rounding out a set of bleak forecasts for 2023, PwC forecasts the second biggest fall in house prices in 70 years.
Barret Kupelian, senior economist, PwC said: “2022 has obviously been a highly challenging year of the UK economy, and it is not surprising that these chilly headwinds will continue throughout 2023, bringing with it some unwelcome milestones in terms of economic and social well being measures.”
The number of people getting divorced in England and Wales is expected to rise 23pc to 140,000 next year in the biggest jump in more than 50 years. PwC expects to see a spike after the introduction of so-called "no-fault" divorces in April.
PwC also warned that the average Briton would be "the unhappiest they’ve been since records began a decade ago".
Official forecasts from the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) show half a million more people will lose their job over the next two years and families will be forced to tighten their belts due to rising prices.
House prices are expected to drop by 8pc, PwC said, and the number of house sales is predicted to fall below one million for the first time in a decade as people hang on to their properties amid the heightened economic uncertainty.
Official records dating back to the 19th century show divorce rates climbed from just 23 in 1868 to a high of 165,000 in 1993 as the stigma of separation receded and the Government removed barriers to separation.
Divorce rates have also fallen in recent years as fewer people get married. They also fell in the wake of the global financial crisis, reflecting family "solidarity", according to PwC.