Consumers “resolutely gloomy” as confidence tumbles

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Consumer confidence tumbled even further in November as Britons continued to feel anxious about the possible economic turmoil in the coming 12 months.

According to a long-running barometer conducted by market researchers GfK, consumer confidence in November fell by five points to -8.

This is the lowest it has been since July, when it stood at -12 due to the Brexit vote. It also comes after a two-point decline October, when consumer confidence was at -3.

The latest figure is based on a survey of 2039 people, conducted November 1-15.

“The slump across the board this month points to continuing uncertainty about the state of the economy among consumers,” GfK head of market dynamics Joe Staton said.

“Although scores for our personal financial situation just about remain positive, the big theme is the reduced confidence in the UK economy looking back and ahead. 

“We are viewing our economy over the past 12 months with increasing despondency. The decreasing score on the economy for the next 12 months also shows we are resolutely gloomy about the outlook despite strong GDP numbers. 

“The ‘next 12 months’ figure has been low since the June vote to leave the EU as ongoing economic turmoil, inflationary pressures and global anxiety impact our levels of confidence.”

The GfK also found a sharp drop in its Major Purchase Index this month, which Staton attributed to an acute concern for retailers as they prepare for the key Christmas selling period. 

“Many are saying that fears about the British economy have been overstated, but time will tell if the pessimism shown in the Index is misplaced or not,” he said.

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