GfK’s long-running Consumer Confidence Index increased two points in October to -47. Three measures were up, one was flat and one decreased in comparison to the September 23rd announcement.
UK consumer confidence continued to bump along close to last month’s historic low, with an Overall Index Score of -47 in October. However, all core measures remain severely depressed. The three-point fall in the major purchase measure continues a steep downward trend that began in July 2021 and is especially worrying for the final quarter of the year, which many businesses rely on to strengthen their balance sheets.
Joe Staton, Client Strategy Director, GfK says: “But the biggest danger by far is inflation, now rising at its fastest rate for 40 years. Households are not just running scared of burgeoning energy and food prices, and the prospect of further base rate rises increasing mortgage costs. They are now facing the likelihood of tax rises and even austerity measures. For ordinary consumers, this web of uncertainty and turmoil amounts to a ‘new abnormal’. The negative environment will deflate future spending plans, and cautious consumers could easily slow the UK economy still further. Consumers, like governments, are just as capable of U-turns, and today’s economic headwinds indicate a long hard winter.”