United Kingdom: Consumer sentiment worsens in September
September 28, 2018
The GfK NOP consumer confidence indicator fell from minus 7 points in August to minus 9 points in September. As a result, the index moved further into negative territory, where it has been since April 2016, highlighting that consumers are broadly pessimistic.
September’s decrease reflected consumers’ worsened views of the general economic situation over the last 12 months and for the year ahead; and their personal financial situation over the last 12 months and for the year ahead. Consumers’ willingness to make major purchases was unchanged, however. Despite the deterioration, consumers were still broadly optimistic regarding their personal finances, contrasting starkly with their highly negative views on the general economy—likely influenced in part by Brexit uncertainty.
Going forward, recent signs of faster wage growth, if maintained, could support confidence. However, ongoing Brexit uncertainty and tighter financial conditions will likely weigh on sentiment.
Author: Oliver Reynolds, Economist