NEWS31 August 2018

Consumer confidence increases in August

Brexit News Trends UK

UK – Consumer confidence has jumped by three points in the past month, but still remains in negative territory, according to GfK’s Consumer Confidence Index.

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The overall index score for Augustis -7, up from -10 in July, with four measures increasing, and one staying the same.

The score measuring consumers’ opinions on their personal financial situation in the past 12 months increased three points to +4, while the outlook for the next year rose one point to +8 – three points higher than this time last year.

Consumer atttitudes towards the country’s general economic situation over the past year has improved, increasing by two points to -26, a four-point increase from August 2017, while expectations for the next 12 months stayed the same.

The major purchase index, which assesses attitudes towards making big purchases such as furniture or electrical goods, also increased, rising eight points to +6.

Meanwhile, the savings index, which is commented on but not included in the overall score, and measures consumer perspective on whether it is a good time to be saving, also increased by eight points.

The overall index score has returned to the same level as May, and suggests an improvement in confidence following a summer slump that the UK heatwave and major sporting events failed to revive. However, the score still remains in negative territory, as it has been for over two years.

Joe Staton, client strategy director at GfK, said the results suggest consumer immunity to continued uncertainty over Brexit. "We are just months away from the Brexit crunch but there is no sign (yet) of any crash in consumer confidence."

He added: "Yes, the core index continues to muddle along in negative territory, but Armageddon seems a distant prospect. With this month’s jump to -7, we have four of the constituent scores up and one unchanged. And we are well above the worrying -39 we saw in July 2008."

The UK Consumer Confidence Barometer is conducted by GfK on behalf of the EU.