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UK Consumer Confidence Rose In January

Ivan-balvan man-and-woman-hand-consider-on-calculator-picture-id1164273151
  • Best headline score in two years as optimism for coming 12 months strengthens  

GfK’s long-running Consumer Confidence Index increased three points to -19 in January. All five measures were up in comparison to last month’s announcement.

Joe Staton, Client Strategy Director GfK, says: “Consumer confidence has started the year well with all measures up and a headline score of -19, the best since January 2022. Importantly, the view on our personal financial situation for the coming year has gained two points and now stands at zero. This is exciting as it ends 24 consecutive months of negative scores for this measure and this significant change is the best single indicator for how the nation’s households feel about their income and expenditure. Despite the cost-of-living crisis still impacting many households across the UK, consumers appear to be encouraged by the positive news about falling inflation. On balance, while there is national and global turmoil, the Consumer Confidence Index has started 2024 on a positive note – let’s see if this optimism continues.” 

UK Consumer Confidence Measures – January 2024

The Overall Index Score increased three points to -19 in December. All five measures were up 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 -12; this is 19 points better than January 2023. 

The forecast for personal finances over the next 12 months increased two points to the value of 0, which is 27 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 three points at -41; this is 30 points higher than in January 2023.  

Expectations for the general economic situation over the next 12 months have increased by four points to -21; this is 33 points better than January 2023..

Major Purchase Index 

The Major Purchase Index is up three points to -20; this is 20 points higher than this month last year.

Savings Index

The Savings Index has stayed the same at +27 in January; this is 13 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 : Joe Staton, GfK

Image : Ivan balvan / shutterstock.com (1164273151)

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27 January 2024

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