NEWS1 June 2020

Consumer confidence rises but still mostly negative, YouGov finds

Behavioural science Covid-19 Financials News UK

UK – Consumer confidence in the UK has rebounded slightly but is still largely pessimistic, according to analysis from YouGov and the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR).

Consumer confidence spending pound_crop

Business activity for May was 14.4 points lower than May 2019, the analysis found, but was a three-point increase on April’s total with an overall score of 95.8 points.

The latest figures follow a large fall in consumer confidence in March and April due to the lockdown put in place to stop the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to the data, six of the eight metrics included in its consumer confidence data increased in May, but all were lower than a year ago and five were below 100 points, indicating a negative score.

There were increases in confidence in household finances, both for the next month and the next year, the analysis found, to 85.6 and 85.2 respectively.

Public confidence in job security and their perception of the level of business activity over the next month were at 85.4 and 93.7, both up from April’s figures.

Confidence over house valuations over the next 30 days and 12 months were rated at 92.9 and 102.9 respectively, both of which were increases.

But two measurements on the index fell in May: confidence in business activity over the next year, which went from 111.9 to 111.6; and job security over the same time period, which fell from 109.6 to 109.1.

Oliver Rowe, director of reputation research at YouGov, said: “The recent collapse in consumer confidence has stopped for now. However, an awful lot of uncertainty remains and there is still trepidation about the economy.

“This isn’t yet time to celebrate but the easing of lockdown seems to have brought a little improvement in confidence for some though it remains negative overall.”

Kay Neufeld, head of macroeconomics at the CEBR, said: “The uptick in consumer confidence is in line with the broader economic picture which seems to have passed the nadir of the crisis in April.

“Nevertheless, the coming months will be crucial in determining whether the economy can stage a relatively fast comeback or if we are just at the beginning of a longer, drawn-out crisis."