NEWS29 March 2019

UK consumer confidence ‘steady’ but fears remain over economy

Brexit News Trends UK

UK – Consumer confidence has remained at the same level in March, despite continuing political uncertainty with no clear resolutions on Brexit – but people are still concerned about the economy, according to GfK’s Consumer Confidence Index.

Big Ben and EU flag

The overall index score is -13, the same as it was in February, with two measures increasing, two staying the same and one decreasing.

Reflections on both consumers’ personal financial situations and that of the general economy over the past 12 months stayed the same in March.

The outlook for the next 12 months has improved slightly in the past month: the forecast for personal finances increased by one point to +2, and expectations for the economic situation rose two points to -36 – still 14 points lower than it was in March last year.

Meanwhile, the major purchase index decreased four points to +1.

Joe Staton, client strategy director at GfK, said: “Consumer confidence has held steady this month at minus -13, despite political chaos and ensuing uncertainty. Against a backdrop of stable inflation and a robust labour market, where wages continue to grow more quickly than prices, confidence has remained negative but fairly stable since the referendum.

“However, while UK consumers report a small increase in optimism for their personal financial situation for the coming year, the index is being dragged down by our nagging fears for the general economy.”

The monthly UK Consumer Confidence Barometer is conducted by GfK on behalf of the EU. Interviewing took place during 1st – 14th March 2019.