NEWS28 February 2018

UK consumer confidence dips in February

Finance News Retail Trends UK

UK – Consumer confidence has dropped one point in February to -10, with three of the five measures decreasing, one staying the same and one increasing.

Woman holding purse and coin

Following an improvement in January, confidence has dipped amid consumer concern over personal finances and the general economic situation, according to the Consumer Confidence Barometer conducted by GfK.

The index measuring changes to personal financial situation during the last 12 months has increased by one point in February, while the outlook for personal finances in the year ahead dropped by one point to +5 – two points higher than it was in February last year.

The metric for the general economic situation of the country over the past year has stayed the same at -29, which is eight points lower than in February 2017. Expectations for the economic situation over the next 12 months have lowered, dipping two points to -26 – six points below this time last year.

The major purchase index, which measures consumers’ propensity to make large purchases such as furniture or electrical goods, also decreased by one point to 0 in February; a score five points lower than February 2017.

Meanwhile, the savings index, which is not taken into account for the overall consumer confidence score, increased by two points to +12 – a figure 16 points higher than the same time last year.

Joe Staton, head of experience innovation UK at GfK, said: "The two-year trend of negative sentiment – the Overall Index Score has bounced between zero and -13 since February 2016 – proves consumers feel pessimistic about the state of household finances and the wider UK economy. Shoppers continue to rein in spending, witnessed by the drop in the major purchase index and the gloomy start to 2018 for many retailers.

"Despite positive news about upgraded growth forecasts, and the promise of higher wage increases this year, confidence will remain subdued until we feel the positive impact on our purses."