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GfK: Consumer Confidence Improves In April

Stokkete / shutterstock / 503419588

GfK’s long-running Consumer Confidence Index increased two points to -19 in April. Four measures were up and one stayed the same in comparison to last month’s announcement.  

Joe Staton, Client Strategy Director GfK, says: “Headline confidence edged forward in April to -19. There was a welcome repeat of the March +2 score for how consumers feel about their personal finances in the next 12 months. While the Overall Index Score remains negative, all of the underlying five measures this April are significantly better than they were last April. These improvements reflect the impact on household budgets of lower inflation and the anticipation of further tax cuts. However, we are a long way from the much firmer sentiment last seen in the period before Brexit, Covid and the conflict in Ukraine. There is a lot of ground to make up, and caution is needed in the face of continuing economic and fiscal challenges, and revised views on when the Bank of England might cut borrowing costs. But Spring has arrived and maybe consumer confidence is, at last, slowly becoming brighter and heading in the right direction.”

UK Consumer Confidence Measures – April 2024

The Overall Index Score increased two points to -19 in April. Four measures were up and one stayed the same in comparison to last month’s announcement. 

Personal Financial Situation

The index measuring changes in personal finances during the last year is up two points at -11; this is 10 points better than April 2024.

The forecast for personal finances over the next 12 months is unchanged at +2, which is 15 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 up four points at -41; this is 14 points higher than in April 2023.  

Expectations for the general economic situation over the next 12 months have increased by two points to -21; this is 13 points better than April 2023.

Major Purchase Index

The Major Purchase Index is up two points to -25; this is three points higher than this month last year.

Savings Index

The Savings Index has increased one point to +26 in April; this is seven points higher than this time last year.

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.  

Source : GfK

Image : shutterstock / 503419588 / Stokkete

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26 April 2024

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