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UK consumers show increasingly positive outlook

UK Consumer Confidence is up three points in June to -14. This is the third monthly increase since March, driven by optimism about UK economy according to GfK's Consumer Confidence Index.

Joe Staton, Client Strategy Director at GfK, says: 'Once again we have an improved reading for the Overall Index Score with June showing a three-point improvement bolstered by consumers' more sympathetic view of the economy for the last year and the 12 months to come. Those measures on the economy registered sharp increases of seven points and six points respectively, and there was a welcome three-point boost in intentions to make major purchases.'

'While June's reading of -14 is the third month in a row that confidence has increased, the headline score remains negative owing to the difficulties so many have experienced as the unrelenting cost-of-living crisis batters household budgets. Nevertheless, consumer confidence continues its robust long-term upward trend this month, and has recovered significantly since the record low of -49 reached in September 2022. Consumers like financial certainty, and this has to be the cornerstone if we are to see confidence break out into positive territory.'

Photo: Dreamstime.

Measuring 50 years of consumer confidence
January 2024 marked 50 years of the UK Consumer Confidence Barometer. There is no other consumer research project with the longevity, rigour, and reliability of the Consumer Confidence Barometer. Each month since January 1974, this study has provided insight into how UK consumers feel about their personal finances and the wider economy, as well as the outlook for the next 12 months. Through the winter of discontent, the Falklands War, economic boom and bust, the Brexit vote, and most recently the coronavirus pandemic, CCB has seen many highs and lows over five decades.

The highest value of the Overall Index Score – the headline score – was in January 1978, when it reached +21. It reached +16 twice in 1979 (first in July and again in September). The lowest score recorded was -49 in September 2022, and other lows include -39 in July 2008, during the global financial crisis, and a score of -35 in March 1990, in the lead-up to the 1990/1991 recession. The largest monthly increase was in May 1993 when the headline score jumped 12 points. There have been seven monthly drops of 10 or more since the survey started, with the largest by far happening during the coronavirus crisis when it dropped 25 points from -9 in mid-March 2020 to -34 at the end of March.

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