Retailers should consider targetting youth products at kids from emerging market countries, as British kids' low spending confidence is affecting consumer sales.

New statistics from On Device Research has shown Britons aged 16-34 years old have five times lower spending confidence than their counterparts in emerging market countries.

The lack of confidence stems from unemployment fears and a lack of belief that the economic market will recover in the near future.

Figures from the government show that in July 2012, 1.02 million young people in the UK aged 16-24 were unemployed, 37,000 more than in the same quarter in 2011.

These people, say On Device, are in danger of becoming the 'lost generation' worn down by rejection.

Britons are 15 times less confident than counterparts in China, Brazil, Nigeria and India about how the general economic situation will change in their own country over the next year.

They are also three times less confident about their employment prospects over that time.

Brazilian youths were most optimistic about their employment opportunities and the general economic situation.

chart 1

Brits' predictions for the economy are not positive

On Device’s managing director, Alistair Hill said the results were symptomatic of the "doom and gloom amongst the UK’s lost generation".

In direct contrast, Brazil was buoyed by its optimism, which was likely shaped by the impact on the country’s infrastructure of hosting the world’s two biggest sporting events in the next four years – the World Cup and Olympics.

"There’s a real danger for the UK that this cauldron of optimism fosters innovation and a drive to succeed that results in these markets overtaking ours as a place to be for investment and that their economy grows to bright new levels as ours sinks back in the festering gloom,” said Hill.

“The economic slowdown here means there is a fundamental need for businesses to target the growth markets in order to survive – not just increase profits. Their increasing wealth, confidence and education levels are creating a rise in demand for energy, technology and consumer products that simply no longer exists in the UK."

chart 2 is now right time to make big purchases

Brits are putting off buying 'big purchases'

Companies seeking to exploit the opportunity should be aware of the different business practices, regulations and cultural differences in emerging countries

However, to exploit this opportunity, western companies must understand the different business practices, regulations, infrastructure, cultural differences and population makeup.

Growth market populations tend to be much younger – around a quarter of Western Europeans are under 25 compared to over 60% in places such as Nigeria – which has a huge impact on the types of products in demand.