Fears over Britain's troubled economy are causing shoppers to cut back on their clothing purchases, a new report said today (16 April).

British Lifestyles, the flagship research report from Mintel, found that around one-third of adults (30%) in Britain admit they have cut back on spending mainly through fear of what may happen to their personal financial situation.

And as many as three-quarters (74%) of those questioned said they would spend less on clothing.

The research shows how fear of the recession is driving consumer behaviour more than an actual change in circumstances.

James McCoy, head of consumer research at Mintel said: "Fear alone can cause major spending adjustments.

"A significant three in ten adults have cut back on their spending not because they have to, but mainly through fear of how the recession might affect them."

The challenge for manufacturers and retailers is to overcome this fear and make consumers feel safe about spending again.