Consumer confidence rocked by Omicron variant

woman shopping with face mask
Shoppers worry about the rising cost of living and the impact of the Omicron variant
// Consumer confidence has dropped in December, falling by one point to -15
// Shoppers worry about the rising cost of living and the impact of the Omicron variant

Consumer confidence has dropped in December as shoppers worry about the rising cost of living and the impact of the Omicron variant during the festive season.

The decrease in consumer confidence throughout December reflects consumers’ concerns about both their own personal finances and the wider economy as we move into 2022.

The has declined by one point to -15 (two points lower than this time last year), according to the latest data from GfK’s long-running Consumer Confidence Index.

Joe Staton, client strategy director at GfK said: “News about the Omicron variant could not have arrived at a worse time for festive celebrations.

“While the holiday season has not yet been hijacked, December’s headline score has slipped one point to -15 and the lack of Yuletide cheer is evident.”


Read more: Consumer confidence edges up despite soaring inflation


The index measuring personal finances forecasts over the next 12 months has decreased by one point to +1, two points lower than this time last year.

Consumer expectations for the general economic situation across the UK in the coming 12 months also dropped by one point in December, to -24 (11 points higher than December 2020).

Staton added: “Both measures that look at how people see the coming year have slipped – down one point for personal finances over the next 12 months and down one point for the wider economy during 2022. This is driven by concerns over the soaring cost of living with the prospect of looming interest rate rises piling on more pressure.”

Interest in making major purchases has also declined as consumers spend less due to the ongoing uncertainty, dropping by three points in December to -6 (16 points higher than December 2020).

“Dispirited Brits say they are less inclined to make major purchases during the countdown to Christmas,” said Staton.

“We end 2021 on a depressing note and it looks like it will be a bleak midwinter for UK consumer confidence possibly with new Covid curbs and little likelihood of any real uplift in the first months of 2022.”

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1 COMMENT

  1. Well if you are given the choice to go masked up everywhere and feel miserable or go maskless in the comfort of your own home and shop for a few things online then I know what I would rather do regardless of any panicking from the authorities.

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