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Consumer confidence is up in the UK for the third month in a row, according to GfK’s long-running Consumer Confidence Index.

24 Jun 2024

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Cytech-partner Activate Cycle Academy, which has specialist cycle maintenance training centres in Oxford, Guildford, Stafford and Darlington, will be exhibiting at this weekend’s York...

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Consumer confidence rises amid personal finance optimism.

Posted on in Business News , Cycles News

UK consumer confidence improved by two points in April, new data has shown, as optimism about personal finances for the coming year remained stable.

Consumer confidence

According to GfK’s consumer confidence barometer, the reading climbed to -19 during the month – four measures were up in total, while one stayed the same in comparison to last month’s announcement. The survey was conducted among a sample of 2,009 individuals from 2 April to 15 April 15th.

The index measuring changes in personal finances during the last year was up two points to -11. The forecast for personal finances over the next 12 months came in unchanged at 2, which was 15 points higher than this time last year.

The report also found that the measure for the general economic situation of the country during the last 12 months rose four points to -41. This was 14 points higher than in April 2023. Expectations for the general economic situation over the next year moved two points to -21, which was 13 points higher than the previous year.

Meanwhile, the major purchase index increased two points to -25 – three points higher than this month last year, and the savings index jumped just one point to 26 in April; this was seven points higher.

“While the overall index score remains negative, all of the underlying five measures this April are significantly better than they were last April," Joe Staton, client strategy director GfK, said. "These improvements reflect the impact on household budgets of lower inflation and the anticipation of further tax cuts.

"However, we are a long way from the much firmer sentiment last seen in the period before Brexit, COVID and the conflict in Ukraine. There is a lot of ground to make up, and caution is needed in the face of continuing economic and fiscal challenges, and revised views on when the Bank of England might cut borrowing costs.

"But spring has arrived and maybe consumer confidence is, at last, slowly becoming brighter and heading in the right direction.”

In response to the data on Friday, Linda Ellett, UK head of consumer, retail and leisure for KPMG, said: “While it’s welcome to see confidence levels rising, households are still feeling squeezed, so it’s not yet equating to a consistent and significant upturn in consumer spending.

“Of the 3,000 consumers recently surveyed by KPMG about Q1 2024, only 3% said they had been able to increase their discretionary spending. And half of the group said they’ve had to cut their spend further since 2023 ended due to their household essential costs. A quarter with savings are using them to help meet essential costs, or plan to pay down their mortgage. This is limiting intention to spend savings on big ticket purchases, bar holidays and home improvements.

"Whether an economic upturn changes that remains to be seen, but consumers told us they are four times more likely to save than spend should their current costs ease.”

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