United Kingdom: Consumer confidence inches down remaining subdued in April
May 18, 2011
In April, the seasonally adjusted consumer confidence index produced by Nationwide Building Society (NBS) fell by 2 points over the previous month, settling at 43 points. Consequently, the index remains at levels comparable to those observed during the trough of the crisis at the beginning of 2009. The April's decrease in consumer sentiment was driven by a more negative view on whether now is a good time to make major purchases, with the Spending Index falling by five points to 62 with 47% of the respondents believing it is a bad time to purchase major goods, such as a house or a car. Furthermore, both the Present Situation Index and the Expectations Index fell by a more moderate two points in April. Some 69% of the respondents still believe that current economic situation in the United Kingdom is bad. In a comment, the NBS stated that consumers are still feeling downbeat about the current situation and there is little to suggest that they expect things to improve much over the coming months. Weak consumer sentiment does not bode well for a more meaningful recovery in private consumption.