Consumer confidence edges up, but still limps home to round out 2016

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Consumer confidence this month recovered slightly after tumbling in November, rounding out a dramatic year thanks to Brexit.

According to a long-running barometer conducted by market researchers GfK, consumer confidence in increased by one point in December to -7.

The news comes after a turbulent year as consumers reacted to the dramatic political and economic turmoil.

The year started on a positive, with consumer confidence at +4, but it plummeted to -12 in the month after the Brexit referendum and despite recovery in September, it evaporated in November where it plummeted to -8.

“While consumers remain relatively confident about their personal financial situation, confidence in the general economic situation for the UK has collapsed in the face of uncertainty about the future both at home and abroad,” GfK’s head of market dynamics Joe Staton said.

“Despite everything, consumer resilience is shown by strength in the major purchase index, the ‘now is a good time to buy’ mantra being reflected in strong retail sales growth. 

“Looking ahead to 2017, against a backdrop of Brexit negotiations, the decline in the value of sterling, and the prospect of higher inflation impacting purchasing power, we forecast that confidence will be tested by the storm and stress of the year to come.”

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