NEWS19 February 2021

UK consumer confidence improves

Covid-19 FMCG Finance News Retail UK

UK – Consumer confidence has improved by five points in the past month, according to GfK’s index, but remains lower than pre-pandemic levels.

Consumer confidence spending pound_crop

The overall index score increased five points to -23 in February, with four measures tracked by the Consumer Confidence Index increasing compared with the January data, and one measure remaining flat.

The forecast for personal finances over the next year increased two points to 4, while the measure for the previous 12 months stayed at -8.

Expectations for the country’s general economic situation over the coming 12 months improved with a 14-point rise to -30, and the measure for the last 12 months also increased to -64.

The major purchase index, which tracks whether or not people think now is a good time to be making larger purchases, increased by five points to -19.

While the index is an improvement on last month, it is still substantially lower than it was in February last year (-7 ).

Joe Staton, client strategy director, GfK, said: “We need to be cautious because the positive tailwinds of the vaccination roll-out are being met by the very strong headwinds of unemployment, the threat of inflation and the difficulty that many face in affording day-to-day living costs – all serious issues that can dampen consumer confidence.

“Perhaps the key lies in the healthier score for how we see our personal finances going forward as this will impact our spending plans that in turn will fuel the post-pandemic economy. That measure is up two points and is reinforced by an encouraging five-point boost for major purchase intentions. But will that confidence in our wallets continue through the balance of the lockdown and beyond?”

The UK Consumer Confidence Barometer is conducted by GfK. Interviewing for this month’s survey was carried out with 2,000 individuals between 1st-12th February.