United Kingdom: Consumer confidence falls to all-time low in May
Consumer confidence fell to minus 40.0 in May from April’s minus 38.0. May’s result marked the worst performance on record. As a result, the index moved further below the 0-threshold, pointing to pessimistic sentiment among consumers.
The headline print largely reflected a deterioration in consumers’ willingness to make major purchases. In addition, consumers’ assessments of the general economic situation over the last 12 months and for the year ahead soured, as did their perception of their personal financial situation over the last 12 months. This bodes poorly for private spending in the second quarter—although retail sales did post a surprisingly robust reading in April, suggesting that strong labor market dynamics are providing some support.
Regarding the reading, Joe Staton, GfK’s client strategy director, stated:
“Consumer confidence is now weaker than in the darkest days of the global banking crisis, the impact of Brexit on the economy, or the Covid shutdown. […] The outlook for consumer confidence is gloomy, and nothing on the economic horizon shows a reason for optimism any time soon.”