Joe Staton, Client Strategy Director at GfK, says:
“We have reported a -13 headline for the past three months and it appears it’s a case of ‘Keep Calm’ when it comes to how confident consumers are feeling right now. Despite political carry-on in the Westminster bubble with the clock ticking on Britain’s eventual departure from the EU, consumers are holding firm and remain unshaken by the daily headlines of turmoil and intrigue, although we remain in negative territory.
"This month we see a dip in the measures for our personal financial situation - both looking back a year and ahead to the coming year - but this is balanced by a small increase in our perspective on the state of the UK economy. The further two-point drop in our measure on ‘major purchases’ suggests more challenges in the near future at least for the retail sector.
"The biggest change is a sudden drop in the motivation to save money – this is down by eight points – and represents the largest monthly drop in our savings measure since after the Brexit referendum in June 2016.”
The Overall Index Score in April 2019 is -13; Two measures increased and three saw a decrease in April.
The index measuring changes in personal finances during the last 12 months has decreased this month to -1; this is the same as April 2018.
The forecast for personal finances over the next 12 months decreased by two points to 0 this month; this is four points lower than April 2018.
The measure for the general economic situation of the country during the last 12 months has increased by three points this month; this is one point lower than April 2018.
Expectations for the general economic situation over the next 12 months have increased two points to -34; this is ten points lower than April 2018.
The major purchase index decreased two points in April 2019 to -1; this is four points lower than April 2018.
The savings index has decreased eight points in April to +12; this is two points higher than at this time last year.
Download the charts: GfK Consumer Confidence Barometer UK - April 2019
The UK Consumer Confidence Barometer is conducted by GfK on behalf of the EU, with similar surveys being conducted in each European country. In producing its own reports on the whole of Europe, the EU applies a seasonal adjustment to the data, to smooth out any changes that are functions, at least in part, of the time of year.
Historically, the UK data have not been seasonally adjusted in this way, and to maintain comparability, GfK continues not to apply this adjustment. This can lead to situations where the EU figures show different movements in a particular month from those produced by GfK. Individual months may be affected, but the long-term trend is not.
The UK Consumer Confidence Survey from GfK was conducted among a sample of 2,001 individuals aged 16+ on behalf of the European Commission.
Quotas are imposed on age, sex, region and social class to ensure the final sample is representative of the UK population.
Interviewing was carried out during 1st – 14th April 2019.
The figures contained within the Consumer Confidence Barometer have an estimated margin of error of +/-2%.
Results for the Consumer Confidence Barometer are normally available on the last working day of each month at 00.01am (unless the final working day of a month is a Monday, in which case the results are published on the Friday preceding the final working day). The release date for May is Friday 31st May 2019.
Any published material requires a reference to both GfK and the European Commission e.g. ‘Research carried out by GfK on behalf of the European Commission’.
This study has been running since 1974. Back data is available from 1996.
Below is an overview of the questions asked to obtain the individual index measures: