UK consumer confidence remains in the doldrums despite November lift
Don’t let a three-point rise in UK consumer confidence deceive you. The latest reading is still hovering just above a near-historic low.
And while a series of readings from November’s Consumer Confidence Index by GfK all showed improvements, “this month’s fillip is likely to reflect nothing more than a collective sigh of relief as a new prime minister takes charge following the alarming fiscal antics we saw in September,” the data provider’s Client Strategy Director, Joe Staton, stressed.
The Overall Index Score increased three points in November but was still a weak -44. The index measuring changes in personal finances over the last 12 months was also up four points to -24, but still 17 points worse than November 2021. And the forecast for personal finances over the next 12 months has increased five points to -29, still 31 points lower than this time last year.
The measure for the general economic situation of the country during the last 12 months is up two points at -67, some 27 points lower than in November 2021. Expectations for the general economic situation over the coming 12 months improved by three points to -58, although this is still 35 points lower than a year ago.
Meanwhile, the Major Purchase Index is up three points to -38. That’s 35 points lower than this month last year. And the Savings Index is up eight points this month at +21, six points better than this time last year.
And Staton summed up the outlook: “This is not the end of the beginning. External factors have changed little and, with UK inflation recently hitting a new high, more bad news is inevitable.
“Consumers are looking for a festive cocktail of certainty and optimism not this mishmash of austerity and pessimism. Good news remains in short supply as many people struggle to manage the purse-strings during this protracted and painful cost-of-living crisis.”
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