NEWS27 April 2018

UK consumer confidence slides again

Finance News Retail Trends UK

UK – Consumer confidence in the UK is "stuck in the doldrums", decreasing two points to -9 in April, according to the Consumer Confidence Barometer published by GfK on behalf of the European Commission.

Shoppers crop

Four of the five measures were lower in April, with one increasing. The dip follows a slight improvement in confidence in March and continues the trend of negative consumer confidence, with 28 consecutive months of negative Overall Index Scores.

The index measuring changes in people’s personal finances over the last year dropped four points in the last month to -1. The index measuring the outlook for personal finances in the next 12 months also decreased, by six points, to +4. 

Consumer outlook on the UK’s general economic situation has also worsened, with the measure for the last 12 months dropping three points to -29 and expectations for the next year also lowering by two points to -24. Both measures are lower than the same period last year.

The only measure to increase in April was the Major Purchase Index, which assesses consumers’ propensity to make large purchases. While this measure rose by one point to +3, this is four points lower than in April 2017.

Joe Staton, client strategy director at GfK, said: "Despite the headline news proclaiming that UK wages rose faster than inflation, that there’s no imminent interest rate rise on the horizon, and that we enjoy record high levels of employment, the Index continues to bump along stubbornly in negative territory with a two-point slide to -9 this April. 

"There is a steep decline this month in the numbers concerning our personal financial situation – for both the past 12 months and the year ahead. This is the measure relating to security in our day-to-day finances and propensity to shop, spend and plan for their future. There’s little evidence of optimism in that respect. Consumer confidence is stuck in the doldrums."