United Kingdom: Consumer confidence picks up in June but remains in negative territory
The consumer confidence index rose to 30 in June from May’s 34. The increase was driven by consumers’ less pessimistic views on their personal financial situation and the general economic situation over the next year, and a greater willingness to make major purchases, likely linked to the gradual easing of lockdown restrictions.
Despite the slight improvement in the headline index, Joe Staton, GfK’s client strategy director, was cautious:
“We still have a story that’s about negative numbers so it’s too early to say that consumers are moving on from the COVID-19 crisis. Consumers appear to be confused and some are not sure what to think. Yes, we have seen queues as some shoppers return to battered high streets. But with economists warning that the post-lockdown upturn might not restore GDP to pre-Covid-19 levels, and with the labour market set for more job losses, we have to question whether we are seeing early signs of economic recovery or that infamous ‘dead cat bounce’. Most bets at present will be on the dead cat.”