NEWS1 May 2024

UK consumer confidence edges up in April

FMCG News Retail UK

UK – Consumer confidence in the UK showed an improvement in April, with an increase of two points, according to GfK’s Consumer Confidence Index.

blurry photo of shoppers walking along the street

The overall index score was -19 in April, up two points from March. Of the five measures in the index, four were up and one had remained at the same in comparison with March.

While the score remains negative, all measures are better than they were in April 2023.

The outlook for personal financial situations remained stable, with the forecast for personal finances over the next 12 months unchanged at +2.

The measure of changes in personal finances during the last year, meanwhile, increased by two points to -11.

The measure for the general economic situation of the country during the last 12 months is up four points at -41, and expectations for the general economic situation over the next 12 months also increased, with a two-point rise to -21.

The Major Purchase Index, which tracks whether people think now is the right time to be making major purchases such as furniture or electrical goods, was up two points to -25 in April; this is three points higher than this month last year.

Joe Staton, client strategy director, GfK, said: “Headline confidence edged forward in April to -19. There was a welcome repeat of the March +2 score for how consumers feel about their personal finances in the next 12 months. While the overall index score remains negative, all of the underlying five measures this April are significantly better than they were last April. These improvements reflect the impact on household budgets of lower inflation and the anticipation of further tax cuts.

“However, we are a long way from the much firmer sentiment last seen in the period before Brexit, Covid and the conflict in Ukraine. There is a lot of ground to make up, and caution is needed in the face of continuing economic and fiscal challenges, and revised views on when the Bank of England might cut borrowing costs. But Spring has arrived and maybe consumer confidence is, at last, slowly becoming brighter and heading in the right direction.”

This month’s survey was conducted among a sample of 2,009 individuals aged 16+ in the UK. Quotas are imposed on age, sex, region and social class to ensure the final sample is representative of the UK population. Interviewing was conducted between April 2nd and April 15th.

The figures contained within the Consumer Confidence Barometer have an estimated margin of error of +/-2%. The Overall Index Score is calculated using underlying data that runs to two decimal points.