NEWS28 April 2017

UK consumer confidence ‘surprisingly stable’ despite drop

Brexit News Trends UK UK General Election

UK – GfK’s UK Consumer Confidence Index fell by one point to -7 in April, with only the Major Purchase Index – one of five measures – showing an increase. 

Confidence business outlook_Crop

The overall index score in April was -7; a fall from -6 in March.

Within this, four of the five measures: personal financial situation over the last 12 months; personal financial situation over the next 12 months; general economic situation over the last 12 months and general economic situation over the next 12 months all fell by between one and two points. The major purchase index measure rose by one point since March. 

Joe Staton, head of market dynamics at GfK, says that UK consumer confidence is "surprisingly stable" in the face of reports of "rampant inflation, stagnating wages and anxiety over our borrowing binge." 

"Although the overall index score remains in negative territory, and has dipped this month, we have not seen any evidence of the predicted post-Trigger downturn, despite high levels of concern about the general economic situation of the country," Staton said.

"Consumers continue to remain positive about the state of their personal finances and even report that now is a good time to buy. But is this too good to be true? Is this simply the calm before the storm? Is pre-Brexit economic turbulence yet to really batter households? That threat cannot be ruled out. But for the moment, consumer sentiment remains relatively buoyant as we enter our two-year window of renegotiation and navigate the run-up to the General Election.”

The research was carried out by GfK on behalf of the European Commission.