Credit crunch baby boom on horizon?

More people are staying in to save money

Britain could be about to experience a credit crunch baby boom – because more people are staying in to save money during the recession.

Supermarkets and chemists have reported bumper rises in the sale of pregnancy testing kits and nutrients taken by expectant mothers. And sales of condoms have fallen by nearly ten per cent at Britain’s biggest supermarket chain.

The surprising figures are the result of couples cutting down on evenings out and using redundancy as a chance to have children and look after them themselves, experts said.

‘People are less likely to go out to expensive restaurants – they’re staying at home and watching TV and looking for other forms of entertainment,’ said Catherine Hanly, editor of raisingkids.co.uk.

Fertility rates in Britain have been rising for the past seven years but experts expected them to decline during the recession.

Instead, supermarket Tesco reported a 51 per cent year-on-year rise in sales of folic acid and other nutrients which help babies develop. It also saw a nine per cent drop in condom sales.

Rival Asda said it had also seen a jump in the sale of pregnancy-related products, such as iron supplements, cocoa butter and folic acid. And Superdrug revealed pregnancy testing kit sales were up eight per cent on last year.

Tesco healthcare buyer Joy Wickham said: ‘What makes the increased demand even more unusual is that we are in the middle of a recession and a potential baby boom is perhaps the last thing one would expect when the purse strings tighten.’

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