NEWS31 May 2018

Concerns over economy hampering consumer confidence

FMCG News Retail Trends UK

UK – Consumer confidence has improved in May, with consumers more upbeat about their personal finances, but concerns over the economy continue to depress the overall outlook, according to GfK’s Consumer Confidence Index.

Shoppers crop

The Overall Index Score increased by two points to -7 in the last month, with four out of the five measures confidence increasing, with one decreasing.

The index for personal finances showed a more positive outlook from consumers, with the measure for changes in personal finances during the last 12 months increasing two points to +1, and the forecast for the next 12 months increasing four points to +8.

The outlook on the country’s wider economic situation also showed improvement in the last month, albeit still firmly in negative territory. The index measuring the general economic situation for the past year increased by five points, to -24, while expectations for the next 12 months rose by three points to -21 – the same level as May 2017.

The Major Purchase Index, however, which measures consumer propensity to make large purchases, decreased by two points to +1.

Joe Staton, client strategy director at GfK, said: “UK consumers are feeling more upbeat this month with a two-point rise in the Overall Index Score. The scores for personal finances (both for the past year and next year) are positive.

“However, consumers remain resolutely downbeat about the general state of the economy. These negative economic scores are depressing the Overall Index and preventing it from breaking out into positive territory.”

The Overall Index Score has been in negative territory for over two years. GfK conducts the UK Consumer Confidence Barometer on behalf of the European Commission.