NEWS3 July 2020

Consumer confidence ‘still fragile’

Covid-19 FMCG News Retail UK

UK – Consumer confidence has increased by three points but remains volatile, according to the latest Covid-19 flash report from GfK.

Blurred high street shoppers

The overall score in GfK’s Consumer Confidence Index improved over the past two weeks (between 18th-26th June) and is now -27, an improvement on its lowest level for 12 years recorded in the last flash report in May (-36 ).

Confidence over personal finances increased, both in relation to the past 12 months and the next 12 months. The index measuring attitudes on the general economic situation in the next year also improved, while the measure for the last 12 months decreased.

The major purchase index, which tracks whether people think now is a good time to be buying expensive items, also increased by seven points to -25, however this still falls short of the level recorded in June 2019 (-2 ).

Joe Staton, client strategy director, GfK, said: "Despite the backdrop of dire warnings about the state of the economy, large-scale job losses, the end of furlough with the prospect of further unemployment, and a possible second-wave of Covid-19, consumers appear to be slightly more confident as lockdown loosens across parts of the UK.

"We're seeing some early signs of improvement across most measures for our fourth Covid-19 flash, even though all our core scores remain negative. However, economic headwinds could easily blow any recovery off-course with confidence remaining fragile and volatile amid few signs of stability."

Interviewing for the Covid-19 flash report was carried out among a sample of 2,000 individuals aged 16+. It is the fourth interim report produced by GfK during the pandemic to accompany the monthly UK Consumer Confidence Barometer, conducted on behalf of the EU.