United Kingdom: Consumer confidence declines unexpectedly in March
March 30, 2012
In March, the consumer confidence index elaborated by GfK NOP dropped to minus 31 points from minus 29 points in February. The figure marked the lowest level in three months and surprised the market on the downside, as analysts expected the index to remain unchanged. According to GfK, the monthly drop in consumer sentiment shows that consumers are becoming increasingly pessimistic about their personal economic circumstances over the next twelve months, a worrying sign for the already hard-pressed retail sector. Four out of the five sub-components that form the confidence index declined from the previous month. In particular, respondents were more pessimistic about their personal financial situation both over the last 12 months and over the next 12 months. Accordingly, the willingness to make major purchases also decreased.