United Kingdom: Consumer sentiment improves again in February
The GfK consumer confidence indicator registered minus 7 in February, up from minus 9 in January and marking an over one-year high. The uptick was likely linked to greater political certainty following the general elections. However, the index remained in negative territory, where it has been since April 2016, highlighting that consumers are broadly pessimistic.
In February, consumers grew more upbeat about the general economic situation and were more willing to make major purchases. Improving consumer confidence bodes well for private consumption in the first quarter.
According to Joe Staton, client strategy director at GfK: “Against a February backdrop of rising wages and house prices, low unemployment and stable inflation, we report another healthy uptick in consumer confidence this month – the third monthly increase in a row. […] Although the Index remains south of positive, the trajectory remains upwards. The only ‘known unknown’ is the potential impact of coronavirus on behaviour, confidence and spending patterns.”