NEWS26 November 2018

British slightly more optimistic but still muted ahead of Christmas

Brexit FMCG News Public Sector Retail UK

UK – British optimism has risen to 51/100 in November, up five points in the last month, but a recessionary mood persists ahead of the festive period, according to Trajectory research.

aerial view of British street

The increase follows optimism declining to its lowest level in October ( 46/100 ), according to the monthly Optimism Index published by Trajectory.

However, concerns remain over personal finances and the wider economy. While net confidence in household financial situations has increased from -19% to -13%, almost a third ( 30%) of respondents still expect to be worse off in 2019 than they are at the moment.

Net confidence in the national economic situation also rose by 6% since October but remained firmly in negative territory (-22%).

When asked about anticipated changes to their spending patterns, ‘no change’ increased as a response across every spending category in November, suggesting consumers do not expect to make further cuts, but budgets remain low.

The survey was carried out following the rise in pay growth in the three months to August and Philip Hammond’s remarks in his budget speech that austerity is coming to an end, but prior to Theresa May’s announcement that she had secured cabinet backing for the draft Brexit agreement.

Tom Johnson, managing director at Trajectory, said: “As we approach the festive season, consumers are feeling a bit more cheerful. But we’re not out of the woods yet – consumers remain pessimistic financially, their levels of trust are low and there remains an elevated sense of powerlessness and futility. Consumers are optimistic enough to be pausing the cost-cutting for the time being, but we aren’t returning to pre-summer levels of spending just yet.”

The Trajectory Optimism Index is an online survey of 2,000 British adults. The data for this month was collected between 2nd-5th November.