United Kingdom: Consumer confidence dips slightly in February
March 15, 2017
The GfK NOP consumer confidence indicator inched down from minus 5 points in January to minus 6 points in February. The index remains entrenched in negative territory, where it has been since April of last year, highlighting that consumers are still broadly pessimistic.
February’s fall reflects a deterioration in consumers’ personal financial situations over the last 12 months and for the coming year, as well as a reduced likelihood of making major purchases. In contrast, consumers’ perceptions of the general economic situation over the last 12 months and for the coming year improved. Consumers’ general pessimism comes amid a backdrop of rising inflation, mediocre wage growth and high levels of political uncertainty. According to Joe Staton, Head of Market Dynamics at GfK, “Any momentum behind the post-Brexit, debt-fueled, consumer-spending boom now appears to be softening. Mounting pressures on disposable income are starting to bite as witnessed by two months of falling retail sales (ONS) and a further drop in the Major Purchase Index.”
Author: Oliver Reynolds, Economist