NEWS20 October 2023

Sharp drop in UK consumer confidence in October

Cost of Living News UK

UK – UK consumer confidence fell nine points in October with a 14-point plunge in the major purchase index in the run-up to Christmas, according to the latest GfK Consumer Confidence Index.

Consumer confidence spending pound_crop

The index found that overall consumer confidence dropped to -30, with all five of the main measures used to determine consumer confidence down from September.

The major purchase index, which measures whether now is a good time to make a significant purchase, was the worst performer, down 14 points from September to -34, albeit seven points higher than this month last year.

The results are based on a nationally representative survey of 2,000 adults carried out between 1st and 13th October.

The index measuring changes in personal finances during the last year was down six points at -19, although was nine points better off than in October 2022.

The forecast for personal finances over the next 12 months decreased six points to -8, which is 26 points higher than this time last year.

For the general economic situation of the country during the last 12 months, the index showed a seven-point fall to -54, despite being 15 points higher than the same month last year.

Expectations for the general economic situation over the next year decreased by eight points to -32, although still 29 points better than in October 2022.

The Savings Index fell two points to a positive score of 25 and closed 12 points higher than this time last year.

Joe Staton, client strategy director at GfK, said: “This sharp fall underlines that the cost-of-living crisis, and simply not having enough money to make ends meet, are still exerting acute pressure for many consumers.

“The fierce headwinds of meeting the accelerating costs of heating our homes, filling our petrol tanks, coping with surging mortgage and rental rates, a slowing jobs market and now the uncertainties posed by conflict in the Middle East, are all contributing to this growing unease.

“The timing of the sharp drop in our major purchase measure – down 14 points – will concern retailers across the land in the run-up to Christmas. The volatility we are seeing in consumer confidence is a sure sign of a depressed economic mood and there’s no immediate prospect of any improvement.”