Brexit fears hit consumer confidence in September

Consumer confidence dropped this month as ongoing concerns surrounding Brexit weighed on shoppers’ outlook.

According to the highly regarded monthly GfK survey, consumer confidence fell two points in September to -9, down from -7 in August.

This marks 32 consecutive months of negative consumer confidence, sitting in negative territory since early 2016 when the Brexit referendum was taken.

Confidence about personal finances over the coming year dropped by three points to five, while expectations for the general economy dropped by one point to -27, three points lower than August 2017.

“There are fewer than 200 days until Brexit arrangements in some shape or fashion take effect,” GfK’s client strategy director Joe Staton said.

“The clock is ticking down and in September the consumer mood dropped a couple of notches. When respondents talk about their personal finances, the scores are still positive. But for the general economy, they can only reflect on the obvious uncertainty surrounding Brexit.

“That poor view of the wider economy is keeping the headline score negative – the last positive headline was the +4 in January 2016. The danger is that consumers might capitulate on how they feel about their personal finances.

“If that happens, we’ll see very sharp drops indeed in the Overall Index Score in the months up to March 2019. Will the coming six months see the consumer mood turn significantly more fragile? Or do consumers think Brexit will ultimately be positive?”

Click here to sign up to Retail Gazette‘s free daily email newsletter


  1. Except that consumers are still spending heavily and consumer ‘confidence’ is pretty much where it was well before the global financial crisis. Certainly way above where it was in 2008-13.

    There is a huge disconnect between what consumers are being told about the state of the economy (bad) and the shape of their finances (generally not so bad).

    Perhaps it is reading articles like this that is making their ‘confidence’ index depressed.

  2. How easy it seems to be for every bit of bad news to be blamed on “BREXIT”. It seems to be a golden opportunity for every second rate company boss or bad management decision to be blamed on…….”BREXIT”. There seems to be no let up in peoples ability to live well beyond there means, we are well overdue a re-alignment or re-adjustment with or without “BREXIT”.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here