NEWS2 February 2018

UK consumer confidence up in January

Finance News Retail UK

UK – British consumers have started the year with an upbeat financial outlook, according to GfK’s Consumer Confidence Index.

Conceptual image of shopping, with blurred people, moving quickly to represent the FMCG sector

Consumer confidence in the UK increased by four points to -9 in January, according to the study, with all five measures up from December.

The biggest increase was the major purchase index, up by five points from -4 in December to +1. However, this is still nine points lower than it was in January 2017.

The index measuring consumers’ personal financial situation over the last 12 months increased by two points in January to -1, while the forecast for personal finances in the next year rose by four points to +6.

Meanwhile, the measure for general economic situation during the last 12 months increased by two points to -29, and the outlook for the next 12 months increased to -24.

The latest figures follow a drop in confidence in December. All five measures are lower than they were in January 2017, and the study has not recorded a positive overall index score in the last two years.

Joe Staton, head of market dynamics at GfK, said: “From expectations for personal financial situation to the outlook for the UK economy and major purchase index, we are reporting a rebound in levels of optimism across the board after two years of the Overall Index Score sitting at zero or in negative territory.”

However, he noted that at -9, the overall index score is still in negative territory and is lower than it was 12 months ago. 

“In the absence of good news about rising wages and declining inflationary pressures, this off-trend number could be a temporary blip rather than a strong sign of recovery. With 2018 still in its infancy, and with a great deal of uncertainty in store, there could be more turbulence in the consumer mood this year and next.”