Well, more fool you, because according to Elle Decoration editor Michelle Ogundehin, all this is a nonsensical fabrication made up by 'statisticians'.
'I hear people aren't shopping as much,' laments Ogundehin in this month's editorial**, as word of our new-found parsimoniousness wafts on a gentle zephyr into her luxury modernist retreat in one of Cloud Cuckoo Land's better postcodes.
But Michelle isn't buying all that depressing economics guff. What's really causing British consumers to tighten their purse strings, she believes, is their inability to find really good, authentic designer furniture.
Never mind the price of a pint of milk, the fact that the market is now flooded - simply flooded, darling! - with fake copies of Mies van der Rohe's 'Barcelona' chair is causing British shoppers great distress, to the extent that we literally don't want to go shopping until the nasty fakers stop 'devaluing the meaning of good design'.
Alistair Darling, know thine enemy.
But don't worry, people of Britain! Michelle has a cunning plan to restart the flagging economy and get us all shopping again. All we need to do is go to the 10 Downing Street website and sign a petition demanding that fake designer furniture be outlawed.
'After all, without authenticity there can be no quality, no meaning and ultimately no value,' she warns. And no megabucks for her furniture-designer friends either, presumably.
(While you're there, you may like to sign something that's ACTUALLY WORTHWHILE. Like this one, perhaps.)
* My monthly water bill went up from £112 to £134 last month. How can this even be possible?
** I wanted to link to this, but sadly Elle Deco has no online presence. UPDATE: But wait! I can copy it out...so here we go, the economic wisdom of the Oracle of Kings Reach Tower IN FULL:
'Authenticity is the word ringing in my ears this month. I hear people aren't shopping as much and statisticians have put it down to the fragile state of the economy. I don't think it's just that. I think there's simply not enough good stuff out there. Consumers, you and me, aren't stupid. We don't buy things we don't like, that we think are overpriced or badly made, whether that's homes, furniture or dresses.
But, of more concern, on the design front, cheap is coming increasingly in the form of knock-off versions of classic pieces. These fakes are invariably produced using lesser quality materials, often in sub-standard factory conditions and with little consideration for human rights***. As such they devalue the meaning of good design at every level.
And yet it was recently brought to my attention that it's legal in the UK to manufacture and/or supply such copies just 30 years after the issue of the original design, as opposed to a minimum of 70 years after the death of the designer, as it is in Germany or Switzerland.
Fakes flood the UK market because we don't have sufficient laws to prevent them. We effectively promote plagiarism! What can you do? Simple. Join the campaign to have the law changed by adding your name to the e-petition lodged on the official 10 Downing Street website.
ELLE Decoration has an absolute editorial policy of never knowingly endorsing copies of iconic designs. After all, without authenticity there can be no quality, no meaning and ultimately no value, whatever price you paid. Add your name at http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/CapperCopyright.'
*** You will note that protecting the human rights of people working in these supposed designer knock-off sweatshops does not turn out to be La Ogundehin's primary concern...