// Overall consumer confidence stands at -27, an improvement of last reading of -30
// All index categories saw an improvement, except for sentiment over the economic situation over the last 12 months
// The findings bring hope to UK retail as some businesses such as pubs & hairdressers prepare to reopen this weekend
Fragile consumer confidence is some signs of improving as more retailers exit lockdown and other high street businesses prepare to open their doors again, according to an index.
The findings could bring more hope to UK retail as some businesses such as pubs and hairdressers prepare to reopen this weekend.
While the overall mood remains downbeat, it is less negative than a couple of weeks earlier, GfK’s latest Consumer Confidence Index found.
- June consumer confidence rebounds after record lows
- Footfall in second week after lockdown exit grows 7.7%
The index measures people’s attitudes towards their households’ personal finances, the wider economy and how consumers feel about splashing out on major purchases.
The latest data, gathered between June 18 and 26, produced an overall score of -27.
While this was still a negative score, it marked an improvement compared with a score of -30 in a previous survey carried out from June 1 to 11.
Within the index, people’s attitudes towards making major purchases improved by seven points, when asked: “In view of the general economic situation, do you think now is the right time for people to make major purchases such as furniture or electrical goods?”
The major purchase index score was -25, an improvement compared with a score of -32 on this measure a couple of weeks earlier.
All other index categories saw an improvement, except for sentiment over the economic situation over the last 12 months, which dropped one point to -60.
In contrast, sentiment around the economic situation in the next 12 months had improved six points, coming in at -42.
Lockdown measures will change in England from Saturday July 4, as more businesses, such as pubs, restaurants, museums, cinemas and hairdressers, start to reopen.
Nightclubs and indoor gyms remain closed for now.
“Despite the backdrop of dire warnings about the state of the economy, large-scale job losses, the end of furlough with the prospect of further unemployment, and a possible second wave of Covid-19, consumers appear to be slightly more confident as lockdown loosens across parts of the UK,” GfK client strategy director Joe Staton said.
“After the recent near-historic low of minus 36 for the consumer confidence barometer last month, we’re seeing some early signs of improvement across most measures for our fourth Covid-19 flash, even though all our core scores remain negative.
“The seven-point jump in the major purchase index could bode well for ‘reopening day’ this Saturday as more shoppers hit the high streets after a trip to the pub and visit to the hairdresser.
“However, economic headwinds could easily blow any recovery off-course with confidence remaining fragile and volatile amid few signs of stability.”
GfK’s index is usually published monthly, but since March an extra interim report has been released every fortnight to evaluate the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on UK consumer confidence.
with PA Wires