The proportion of UK consumers who have switched to cheaper grocery brands to save money has hit a record low, according to new Nielsen research.

Nielsen’s Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions found that only 22% of Britons changed to cheaper grocery brands in the first quarter of 2016, the lowest level since Nielsen started measuring the trend seven years ago.

The number of UK consumers changing overall spending habits to save money on household expenses has also dropped to a record low, at 46%. This compares to a European average of 59%.

In addition, the number of Britons who believe the UK is in a recession also hit its lowest-ever level (42%) since the measurement first appeared eight years ago (Q1, 2008).

However, the number of UK consumers feeling positive about making purchases dropped back from a record high of 52% to 49% in Q1 2016.

“Although people are loosening the purse-strings, overall, they’re still cautious about what lies ahead, borne out by the recent disappointing retail barometers,” said Nielsen UK & Ireland managing director Steve Smith.

“In fact, the most popular destination currently for people’s spare cash is their savings account, rather than the high street, whilst many are using it to pay off debt.”