NEWS25 February 2022

UK consumer confidence down seven points says GfK index

News Retail Trends UK

UK – GfK’s long-running Consumer Confidence Index decreased seven points to -26 in February. All measures were down in comparison to the previous announcement made on 21 January.

Consumer confidence abstract image with shopping trolley

The index measuring changes in personal finances over the last 12 months has decreased five points to -11; this is three points worse than February 2021. The forecast for personal finances over the next 12 months has decreased 12 points to -14; this is 18 points lower than this time last year.

The measure for the general economic situation of the country during the last 12 months is three points lower at -50; this is 14 points higher than in February 2021. Expectations for the general economic situation over the coming 12 months have dropped by 11 points to -43; this is 13 points lower than last February.

The major purchase index has decreased by five points to -15 in February; this is four points higher than it was this month last year. Lastly, the savings index has gone down by one point to +14 in February; this is five points lower than this time last year.

Joe Staton, client strategy director at GfK, commented: “Fear about the impact of price rises from food to fuel and utilities, increased taxation and interest rate hikes has created a perfect storm of worries that has shaken consumer confidence.

“At -26, this is the lowest headline score since January 2021, one of the worst points in the Covid crisis. While all measures have fallen this month, the two forward-looking indicators tapping sentiment over the next 12 months on personal finances and the wider economic situation are showing the biggest falls – these are down 12 points and 11 points respectively.

“There’s clear anxiety in these findings as many consumers worry about balancing the household books at the end of the month without going further into debt. Slowing consumer spend slows the wheels of the UK economy so this is unwelcome news. And the good news on the easing of Covid restrictions around the UK seems to be doing little to lift the public’s mood.”