Britons are more willing to cut back on holidays and meals out than on spending on communication technology during the recession, an Ofcom review suggests.
The watchdog’s annual report says spending on mobiles, the internet and TV is regarded as a higher priority than almost anything except food.
In a poll of 862 people, over 40% said they would save on holidays and eating out and 19% chose spending on mobiles.
Ofcom’s Peter Phillips said people were “more canny” about paying for services.
The study also highlights a major rise in the use of social networking websites.
Some 19m people in the UK, 50% of internet users, visit Facebook, spending an average of six hours a month on the site, it says.
This is an increase from four hours in May 2008.
The report said the proportion of 25 to 34-year-olds who said they had a social networking site profile grew by six percentage points in a year to 46%, while the figure also rose among 35 to 54-year-olds to 35%.
But the proportion of 15 to 24-year-olds with such a profile dropped from 55% in the first quarter of 2008 to 50% in the first quarter of 2009, the study added.
Ofcom researchers asked consumers where they were most likely to be cutting back on spending during the recession, as part of its communications market report Of those asked, 47% said going out for dinner, 41% said DIY and 41% holidays.
This compared with 19% who said they would cut back on mobile phone spending, 16% who said TV subscriptions and 10% who highlighted broadband services.