United Kingdom: Consumers perk up in March
The GfK NOP consumer confidence indicator rose from minus 10 points in February to minus 7 points in March, the highest reading in ten months. Despite the improvement, the index remains firmly entrenched in negative territory, where it has been since April 2016, highlighting that consumers are still broadly pessimistic.
March’s uptick reflects consumers’ more optimistic view of their personal financial situation over the previous 12 months and for the year ahead. In addition, consumers grew less pessimistic concerning the general economic situation over the last 12 months and for the year ahead, and became more willing to make major purchases.
Commenting on the figures, Joe Staton, Head of Experience Innovation UK at GfK, said: “The prospect of wage rises finally outstripping declining inflation, high levels of employment with low-level interest rates, and finally some movement on the Brexit front appear to have boosted our spirits. It’s still a little early to be talking about green-shoots, and the core score is of course still negative, but this is definitely a movement in the right direction.”