NEWS18 April 2023

Consumer confidence down in March

Cost of Living News Trends UK

UK – Consumer confidence fell in March, with the most serious declines seen in short-term job security and business activity, according to research by YouGov and the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr).

Consumer confidence abstract image with shopping trolley

The research registered a one-point drop in consumer confidence from 100.4 to 99.4, the first decline seen in YouGov and the Cebr’s consumer confidence index since October 2022.

The findings are based on data collected from more than 6,000 monthly interviews, with scores above 100 showing positive consumer outlook and below 100 representing a negative confidence score.

Job security measures for the past month fell from 94.4 to 91.3, while outlook for job security over the year ahead declined 1.2 points to 115.3.  

Business activity measures dropped from 109 to 106.2 for the next 30 days, while longer term, business activity measures fell from 120.2 to 118.4.  

Retrospective measures tracking home values dropped from 112.4 to 110.5, while outlook for the next 12 months declined from 113.9 to 113.2.  

Scores for household finances in the past 30 days increased from 68.4 to 69.6 – the fifth successive month of improvements – while those for the next 12 months jumped two points to 70.9. 

The scores were a significant improvement on March 2022, when the respective scores were at 62.6 and 49.1.

Kay Neufeld, director and head of forecasting and thought leadership at Cebr, said: “The deterioration in overall consumer sentiment reflects the ongoing economic challenges faced by the UK, such as high borrowing costs and the cost-of-living crisis.

“Moreover, March saw the global banking system coming under strain following the collapse of three smaller US banks, forcing regulators and central banks to intervene.

“Fear of further contagion and potential negative implications for the economy could have contributed to the deterioration in consumer confidence last month.”