August consumer confidence static despite Games

Consumer confidence remained static in August despite high hopes for an improvement during the London Olympic Games.

According to the GfK NOP UK Consumer Confidence Index, the figure remained at -29, the same figure as for the past two months.

Nick Moon, Managing Director of Social Research at GfK, explained that the outlook is grim, commenting: “Confidence has never been so low for so long – even during the dark days of the 2008-2009 recession.

“Unlike last year‘s Royal Wedding which boosted consumer confidence, there has been no spike to consumer sentiment following the Olympics.

“While the lack of a Games boost is disappointing, the true story may be even more disturbing for the Government – namely, that there has been an Olympic uplift but it has been cancelled out by the grim economic outlook.”

From a personal finance perspective, the outlook has improved, as the forecast for personal finances over the next 12 months decreased two points to -10, one point higher than the same period last year.

Similarly, consumer views of the general economic situation have also seen an improvement, as the measure for the last twelve months has risen four points to -55, while expectations for the next twelve months have increased three points to -27, four points higher than August 2011.

While this is positive news for UK shoppers, Moon warned that retailers would be wise to remain cautious in the coming months.

“When mixed with grim sales figures from the last month it paints a worrying picture for retailers as they head towards Autumn,” he concluded.

“It‘s clear that consumer confidence is trapped in a spiral of depression and it doesn‘t look like improving any time soon.”


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