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GfK: Consumer Confidence Down Two Points In February

Ivan-balvan man-and-woman-hand-consider-on-calculator-picture-id1164273151
  • UK consumer confidence down two points to -21 in February
  • But stable outlook for future personal finances is encouraging 

GfK’s long-running Consumer Confidence Index fell two points to -21 in February. Four measures were down and one was unchanged in comparison to last month’s announcement.

Joe Staton, Client Strategy Director GfK, says: “There’s a mixture of bad news and good news for February. The bad news is that the improvement in the Overall Index Score seen over recent months stalled slightly in February due to a fall across most measures. However, the good news is that optimism for our personal financial situation for the next 12 months has not slipped back. Although registering again at zero, this is a significant improvement on the -18 score from February last year. This metric is key to understanding the financial mood of the nation because confident householders are more likely to spend despite the cost-of-living crisis. Looking forward, it will be interesting to see what the forthcoming Budget delivers in terms of taxation and inflation. These are important issues to everyone – especially in an election year. The recent performance of the economy will play a crucial role in determining results at the ballot box. All the measures this February are better than a year ago, but consumer confidence alone will not carry us into a brighter economic future.”

UK Consumer Confidence Measures – February 2024

The Overall Index Score fell two points to -21 in February. Four measures were down and one was unchanged in comparison to last month’s announcement. 

Personal Financial Situation 

The index measuring changes in personal finances during the last year is down two points at -14; this is 12 points better than February 2023. 

The forecast for personal finances over the next 12 months is unchanged with a value of 0, which is 18 points higher than this time last year.

General Economic Situation 

The measure for the general economic situation of the country during the last 12 months is down two points at -43; this is 22 points higher than in February 2023.  

Expectations for the general economic situation over the next 12 months have decreased by three points to -24; this is 19 points better than February 2023.

Major Purchase Index 

The Major Purchase Index is down five points to -25; this is 12 points higher than this month last year.

Savings Index

The Savings Index has increased two points to +29 in February; this is 10 points higher than this time last year.

Measuring 50 Years of Consumer Confidence

January 2024 marks 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.  

Source : GfK

Image : Ivan-balvan / istockphoto.com / 1164273151

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23 February 2024

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Thank you for the excellent presentation that you gave at Woodbury Park on Thursday morning. It was very interesting and thought-provoking for our Retail members. The feedback has been excellent.

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Martin Elliott. Chief Executive - Home Hardware.
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