United Kingdom: Consumers remain wary in March
March 31, 2017
The GfK NOP consumer confidence indicator was minus 6 points in March, unchanged from February’s figure. The index remains entrenched in negative territory, where it has been since April of last year, highlighting that consumers are still broadly pessimistic.
March’s figure reflects an improvement in consumers’ personal financial situations over the last twelve months and an increased likelihood of making major purchases. Consumers’ sentiment regarding their personal financial situation over the next twelve months, the general economic situation over the last twelve months and the general economic situation over the next twelve months remained unchanged compared to the prior month. Consumers’ general pessimism comes amid a backdrop of rising inflation, mediocre wage growth and high levels of political uncertainty generated by the recent triggering of Article 50. According to Joe Staton, Head of Market Dynamics at GfK:
“Since the Brexit referendum, household spending has been a big driver of growth, so any slump will dent future economic prospects. However, if we carry on shopping, as seen by the uptick in the Major Purchase Index, then forecasts for a post-Trigger/pre-Brexit slowdown could be proved wrong.”
Author: Oliver Reynolds, Economist