NEWS12 May 2022

Household finance measures hit record low for third month in a row

News Public Sector Trends UK

UK – The cost-of-living crisis has knocked consumer confidence again, according to the latest analysis from YouGov and the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr).

Woman holding purse and coin

 As with last month and the month before, a modest fall in the overall index (-1.0 ) can be explained by a more severe decline in household finance measures, which have hit yet another all-time low.

Across other measures, the story is less dramatic. Worker perceptions of retrospective business activity saw a minor bump, increasing to 111.9 (+1.1 ), but – with higher energy bills giving consumers greater incentive to tighten their belts – outlook has fallen to 121.0 (-2.2.). Both metrics remain positive.

Similarly, house value metrics among the nation’s homeowners for the short term saw mild improvement (+0.9, rising to 133.5 ), while outlook got mildly worse (-1.0, falling to 137.4 ).

Job security metrics remained broadly stagnant, increasing from 93.5 to 94.1 (+0.6 ) for the past 30 days and falling from 120.8 to 120.3 (-0.5 ) for the next 12 months.  

In another of a series of record lows for the metric, short-term household finance measures (past 30 days) dropped by 6 points to 56.7. The 12-month outlook also hit an all-time low, inching downwards from 49.1 to 48.3.

Darren Yaxley, head of reputation research at YouGov, said: “With the cost-of-living crisis continuing to rumble on, this data suggests that, perhaps unsurprisingly, consumers’ household finances are bearing the brunt.

“While the overall Consumer Confidence Index has fallen – a 1pt drop since March, but a 7.6pt fall since this time last year – our retrospective household finance measure has seen a similar drop over the course of just one month, with the April figure down 6pts since March and a massive 57pts since April 2021. 

He concluded: “Other metrics such as house value, job security and business activity remain stable for the time being, but it remains to be seen whether these will experience a similar freefall as the country continues to feel the squeeze.”