No signs of consumer confidence improving ahead of Brexit

June consumer confidence

Consumer confidence tumbled in June, with no signs of getting out of the negative territory it has been in for two and half years as the UK prepares to exit the EU next March.

GfK’s long-running Consumer Confidence Index decreased by two points to -9 in June, amid a “self-imposed austerity” among shoppers and pessimism about the economy in the run-up to Brexit.

There has also been a decline across all the measures used in compiling the monthly overall index.

The last time the index was above zero points was 2015, when there was a full year of positive numbers.

“The overall index score has now registered at zero or negative for 30 months,” GfK client strategy director Joe Staton said.

“Contrast that with 2015 – when there was a full year of positive numbers.

“The trend since those 2015 figures has been resolutely downwards and it’s difficult to see the direction changing in the run-up to the UK leaving the European Union in March 2019.”

Confidence in personal finances over the last year fell one point, although it is one point higher than 12 months ago.

Despite this, the forecast in personal finances for the coming year fell by two points, six points higher than June 2016.

Meanwhile, confidence in the general economic situation over the last year fell four points to -28, three points lower than a year ago.

Expectations for the coming year also fell four points to -25.

The major purchase index, an indicator of confidence in buying big ticket items, also fell, by one point to zero.

“There is little comfort in the one-point drop to zero in the major purchase index,” Staton said.

“Shoppers are holding on to their cash and consumers in general seem set on their path of self-imposed austerity.”

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