Consumers in the UAE are feeling the pinch of inflation and are likely to cut back on spending over the next several months, according to a new survey by YouGov.

The majority (83 percent) of those polled for the study said that the cost of living has gone up "to some extent" compared to a year ago. More than half (53 percent) of them said the costs have increased "a lot", while 30 percent said their outgoings have gone up "a little".

"Inflation is biting into household budgets across the globe. It's no different in the UAE, where inflation metrics have shown an increase," the market research firm said on Wednesday.

The cost of living around the world has been rising, with food and energy prices hitting consumers' wallets. In the UAE, inflation went up by 3.35 percent during the first three months of the year. Just this month, fuel prices increased by as much as 15 percent.

With the rising costs, consumers have already started to reduce their outgoings. Nearly half (47 percent) said they have cut down on eating out at restaurants and cafes. At least 43 percent also said they have reduced spending on clothes and accessories.

The trend is expected to continue, with 40 percent of residents saying they will refrain from eating out in the next six months. At least 36 percent also intend to spend less on clothes in the next six months, while 40 percent would spend less on gadgets and electronics.

Consumers also plan to cut back on F&B takeaways (32 percent), non-essential food items (27 percent), grooming services (26 percent), overseas holidays (25 percent) and leisure activities (25 percent) over the next six months.

Despite rising costs, however, 39 percent of consumers in the UAE are optimistic that their finances will improve in the future. A fewer one in five (21 percent) still anticipate their personal finances to worsen and just under three in ten expect it to remain unchanged.

Private consumption is a major driver of the UAE economy, accounting for 39.1 percent of the country's nominal GDP in December 2020, according to research firm CEIC.

(Reporting by Cleofe Maceda; editing by Daniel Luiz )