United Kingdom: Consumers grow more upbeat at the start of 2018
The GfK NOP consumer confidence indicator rose from minus 13 points in December to minus 9 points in January. Despite the improvement, the index remains firmly entrenched in negative territory, where it has been since April last year, highlighting that consumers are broadly pessimistic.
January’s figure reflects consumers’ less pessimistic view of their financial situation over the last 12 months and for the next 12 months. Consumers also grew less negative regarding the general economic situation over the last 12 months and for the year ahead, and became more willing to make major purchases.
However, Joe Staton, Head of Market Dynamics at GfK, urged caution regarding the latest figures: “the Index is still lower than this time last year (-5), and still in negative territory, and in the absence of good news about rising wages and declining inflationary pressures, this off-trend number could be a temporary blip rather than a strong sign of recovery. With 2018 still in its infancy, and with a great deal of uncertainty in store, there could be more turbulence in the consumer mood this year and next.”