NEWS28 March 2022

UK consumer confidence continues to nosedive

News Retail Trends UK

UK – GfK’s long-running Consumer Confidence Index decreased five points to -31 in March as the cost-of-living crisis deepens. 

pound coin with graph suggesting growth

The index measuring changes in personal finances over the last 12 months has decreased two points to -13; this is 11 points worse than March 2021. 

The forecast for personal finances over the next 12 months has decreased four points to -18; this is 28 points lower than this time last year.

The measure for the general economic situation of the country during the last 12 months is one point lower at-51; this is nine points higher than last March.

Expectations for the general economic situation over the coming 12 months have dropped by six points to -49; 32 points lower than last year.

The major purchase index decreased by nine points to -24 in March; this is 13 points lower than it was this month last year.

The savings index is the only one to have gone up, rising by four points to +18 in March; this is still three points lower than the same time last year.

Joe Staton, client strategy director at GfK, commented on the findings: “A wall of worry is confronting consumers this month and there is an unmistakable sense of crisis in our numbers.

“Consumers across the UK are experiencing the impact of soaring living costs with 30-year-high levels of inflation, record-high fuel and food prices, a recent interest rate hike and the prospect of more increases to come and higher taxation. This is set against a background of stagnant pay rises that cannot compensate for the financial duress.

“Confidence in our personal financial situation and in the wider economy are severely depressed, while the daily news of unimaginable suffering from a horrifying war in Europe and rising Covid-19 numbers at home is adding to the bleak mood. The outlook for consumer confidence is not good; it’s certain there’s more bad news to come.”