It seems that while it's bad news for the economy in general, DIY and gardening as a sector may be better equipped to weather the storm than others.
The figures from GfK on page six of this week's DIY Week (out on Friday) aren't cheerful reading, unless you look at them in context. What they show is that DIY and gardening sales are actually declining at a far slower rate than some other sectors such as major domestic appliances, photo equipment and even consumer electronics.
This trend is borne out by the latest study commissioned by the Newspaper Society. The figures clearly showed that little more than a third of respondents would be tightening their belts as far as DIY and gardening were concerned, compared with 61% when it came to buying clothing and fashion.
In fact DIY and gardening was one of the strongest performers of the eight categories surveyed, though there was a strong North/South divide as 46% of southerners would be cutting back on home improvements, only 33% in the North said they would be.