NEWS30 April 2019

Confidence unchanged as consumers ‘hold firm’ ahead of Brexit

Brexit News Trends UK

UK – Consumer confidence has once again stagnated in April, remaining in negative territory, according to GfK’s Consumer Confidence Index.

Hourglass waiting consumer confidence_crop

The overall index score for the past month was -13, the same level recorded in February and March.

Consumer expectations for the country’s general economic situation have improved slightly during April, with the measure for the past 12 months increasing by three points to -30 and the forecast for the next year up two points to -34 – however, this is 10 points down on the same period in April 2018.

The index tracking people’s personal finances in the past 12 months has decreased to -1, the same as April last year, and the outlook for the next year also dropped to 0.

The major purchase index, which measures consumer attitudes towards whether it is a good time to buy expensive items such as furniture, also dropped by two points to -1.

Joe Staton, client strategy director at GfK, said: "We have reported a -13 headline for the past three months and it appears it’s a case of ‘Keep Calm’ when it comes to how confident consumers are feeling right now. Despite political carry-on in the Westminster bubble with the clock ticking on Britain’s eventual departure from the EU, consumers are holding firm and remain unshaken by the daily headlines of turmoil and intrigue, although we remain in negative territory.

"The biggest change is a sudden drop in the motivation to save money – this is down by eight points – and represents the largest monthly drop in our savings measure since after the Brexit referendum in June 2016."

The monthly UK Consumer Confidence Barometer is conducted by GfK on behalf of the European Commission. Interviewing took place during 1st – 14th April 2019.