NEWS12 October 2023

UK workers less optimistic about job prospects, according to YouGov and Cebr

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UK – Consumer confidence in the UK increased from 100.7 to 101.0 in September, according to data from YouGov and Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr), but outlook on job security faltered, declining by 5.5. points compared with August.

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Views on household finances saw modest improvements, according to the index, with the measure for the past 30 days increasing from 78.7 to 79.8. The score measuring outlook for household finances in the next 12 months rose from 79.4 to 80.9.

While the measure for job security increased by 1.1 points relating to the past 30 days, the outlook for the next 12 months worsened, decreasing by 5.5 points – the largest month-on-month decline reported by YouGov to date.

The researchers stated that this drop should be understood in the context of the previous month, which saw the outlook increase by 7.5 points, noting that the decline may be ‘a calming moment after an unusually optimistic August’ but also that news of redundancies and collapses at brands such as Wilko may have also influenced attitudes.

Measures of people’s perceptions of their house value also improved, both for the short-term and the year ahead, while business activity saw mixed results: the short-term measure increased, while the score for the year ahead decreased.

Data is based on 6,000 daily surveys carried out by YouGov over a month. Respondents answer questions about household finances, property prices, job security and business activity, over the past 30 days and looking ahead to the next 12 months.  

Kay Neufeld, director and head of forecasting and thought leadership at Cebr, said: “September saw a marginal improvement in consumer sentiment according to the latest YouGov/Cebr Consumer Confidence Index, with the headline score rising by 0.3 points to 101.0. Improvements were seen in the both the retrospective and forward-looking measures for household finances as inflation continued to slow and real wages returned to positive growth.

“Measures looking at consumers’ perception of the value of their home also improved, potentially driven by the fact that mortgage rates have started to level off after having reached 15-year highs in recent weeks. However, this was partially offset by falls in the forward-looking measures for business activity and job security, suggesting that expectations for the UK economic outlook deteriorated. With growth forecast to slow and unemployment to rise in the coming months, we expect to see further falls on both metrics of the Consumer Confidence Index going forward.”