NEWS31 March 2016

Potential ‘Brexit’ blamed for drop in consumer confidence

Finance News Trends UK

UK — The latest Consumer Confidence Index from GfK has revealed an 18 point drop year-on-year in consumer sentiment towards future prospects for the general economy. 

The UK measure of expectations for the general economic situation over the next 12 months stood at +6 in March 2015 and is now at -12. The Consumer Confidence Index remained at zero; two of the measures used to calculate the index saw decreases (major purchase index and personal financial situation over the last 12 months); one measure saw an increase (personal finance forecast over the coming year); and two remained the same (general economic situation over the last 12 months and the savings index). 

GfK has highlighted the prospect of an exit from the European Union as the cause for the differences in sentiment across the various measures. 

“Are we seeing Brexit jitters at work now?" said Joe Staton, head of market dynamics at GfK. "Whilst UK consumers remain resolutely upbeat about their personal financial situation, even showing a +1 point increase this month when asked about expectations for the year ahead, concerns about prospects for the general economic situation continue to dampen our mood.

"Looking at how consumers see the wider economy developing over the next 12 months, we are 18 points lower this month than in March 2015. So, despite good economic headlines about low inflation, interest rates and prices in the shops, concerns about Brexit and the ongoing Eurozone crisis appear to be hitting home.”