NEWS29 November 2019

UK consumer confidence stalls ahead of election

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UK – Consumer confidence has flatlined, according to the GfK Consumer Confidence Index, suggesting consumers are remaining cautious given continued uncertainty over Brexit and the general election on 12th December. 

Confidence gloomy rainy london_crop

The overall index score remained at -14 in November, the same level as last month. The results mark almost four years since the index was in positive territory.

The monthly UK Consumer Confidence Barometer survey is conducted by GfK on behalf of the European Commission, with interviewing conducted 1st – 14th November.  

The index measuring people’s views on their own financial situations during the last 12 months decreased by one point in November to 0, while the forecast for personal finances in the next year has stayed the same, at +1, the research found.

Expectations of the economy have improved slightly, with the measure for the country’s general economic situation in the next 12 months increasing three points to -34. However, this is still two points lower than it was in November 2018.

The major purchase index, which tracks attitudes on whether now is a good time to be buying expensive items, decreased by one point to 0 in November, which is three points above the same period last year.

Joe Staton, client strategy director at GfK, said: “The score for the general economy over the coming year has ticked up three points and this is possibly an indication that some consumers believe the imminent general election might clear the Brexit deadlock, even though this sub-measure is still in deeply negative territory at -34.

“The general election is potentially an opportunity to move us out of the doldrums – but for this to happen there must be a clear result. A hung parliament could be very damaging for consumer confidence and would surely deepen the obvious malaise that we see month after month. We have not seen a positive headline score since January 2016.”