NEWS4 February 2019

UK consumer confidence remains ‘stuck’

Brexit FMCG News Retail Trends UK

UK – Consumer confidence stagnated in January at -14, as consumers wait to see what the outcome of Brexit will be, according to GfK’s Consumer Confidence Index.

Hourglass waiting consumer confidence_crop

The overall index score is five points lower than the first month of 2018, with two measures increasing, two decreasing and one staying the same.

Consumers’ outlook on their personal finances in the next year has increased by two points to 1, while their view of their situation over the past 12 months also improved slightly to 0 – still five points lower than January 2018.

However, people’s expectations for the economy have worsened, with the view of the situation during the past 12 months dropping four points to -35, six points lower than January 2018.

The outlook for the general economic situation in the next year also decreased by one point to -39 – 15 points lower than the same time last year, and the lowest score for this measure for over seven years.

The Major Purchase Index, which asks people whether they think now is a good time to buy big-ticket items, stayed at the same level in January 2019 at 2.

Joe Staton, client strategy director at GfK, said: “With the Overall Index Score stuck at -14 this month, UK consumers remain in a ‘wait and see’ holding pattern in the face of political chaos in Westminster. Although we’re feeling slightly more confident about our personal finances – thanks to the effect of strong employment, low interest and inflation rates, and rising household incomes – concerns about the wider economic prospects for the country continue to weigh and depress the Overall Index Score.”

The monthly Consumer Confidence Barometer is conducted by GfK on behalf of the European Commission. January’s interviews were carried out between 1st – 15th January 2019.