UK consumer confidence improves in September

UK consumer confidence improves in September

Despite a surge in Covid-19 cases and increased social distancing measures imposed by the UK government, consumer confidence is up in September.

New figures from the longstanding GfK Consumer Confidence Index, which has been tracking data since 1974, show an increase of two points.

Joe Staton, client strategy director at GfK, said: “Despite unfavourable double-dip economic headwinds and the threat of a second lockdown, we report an uptick for September as the overall index score climbs to -25 from the near-historic low of -36 in our early June ‘flash’. This means consumer confidence has crept forward for nearly four months now but can this fragile improvement last or is it about to come to a grinding halt?”

The index measuring expectations for the general economic situation over the next 12 months has climbed by four points to -38, while the index for the forecast for personal finances over the same period has remained the same as last month at 1.

The major purchase index has also increased, rising by four points to -21. However, this is still 24 points lower than it was in September 2019.

Staton added: “Looking ahead over the rest of 2020 and beyond, keep an eye on our personal finance measure for the coming year and the major purchase intentions of consumers. These reflect how much we intend to spend, shop or invest, all vital considerations for retailers as we enter the ‘golden quarter’ in the run-up to Christmas. However, consumers are as jittery as stock markets right now and as the UK government puts the brakes back on – and there may be more to come – only an unbridled optimist will bet on confidence climbing further.”

The UK Consumer Confidence Barometer is conducted by GfK on behalf of the EU, with similar surveys being conducted in each European country. This month’s survey was conducted among a sample of 2,000 individuals aged 16+ on behalf of the European Commission with quotas imposed on age, sex, region and social class to ensure the final sample is representative of the UK population.

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