GfK’s long-running Consumer Confidence Index has increased two points to –7 for February. Three measures increased, one measure decreased, and one measure remained the same this month.
Joe Staton, Client Strategy Director at GfK says: “Against a February backdrop of rising wages and house prices, low unemployment and stable inflation, we report another healthy uptick in consumer confidence this month – the third monthly increase in a row.
"The rise in the Overall Index Score is driven by our increasingly positive view on the state of the UK’s general economy for both the past and the next 12 months. And, despite the fact that consumers have shown some concern about their day-to-day personal finances this month, a big five-point jump in the Major Purchase Index reflects the recent rebound in retail sales, as widely reported.
"Although the Index remains south of positive, the trajectory remains upwards. The only ‘known unknown’ is the potential impact of coronavirus on behaviour, confidence and spending patterns. This is a developing story, watch this space.”
The Overall Index Score in February 2020 is -7. Three measures increased, one measure decreased and one measure remained the same this month.
The index measuring changes in personal finances during the last 12 months has decreased by two points this month to -1; this is one point lower than February 2019.
The forecast for personal finances over the next 12 months is unchanged at +6 this month; this is five points higher than February 2019.
The measure for the general economic situation of the country during the last 12 months has increased five points this month to -23; this is ten points higher than in February 2019.
Expectations for the general economic situation over the next 12 months have also increased three points to -21; this is 17 points higher than February 2019.
The Major Purchase Index increased five points in February to +6; this is one point higher than it was in February 2019.
The Savings Index has remained the same this month at +20; this is two points higher than at this time last year.
Download the GfK Consumer Confidence UK charts - Feb 2020
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 3rd – 14th February 2020.
The figures contained within the Consumer Confidence Barometer have an estimated margin of error of +/-2%.
The Overall Index Score is calculated using underlying data that runs to two decimal points.
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 March is Tuesday 31stMarch 2020.
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 2006.
The table below provides an overview of the questions asked to obtain the individual index measures:
Personal Financial Situation
This index is based on the following questions to consumers: ‘How has the financial situation of your household changed over the last 12 months?’
‘How do you expect the financial position of your household to change over the next 12 months?’ (a lot better – a little better – stay(ed) the same – a little worse – a lot worse)
General Economic Situation
This index is based on the following questions to consumers: ‘How do you think the general economic situation in this country has changed over the last 12 months?’
‘How do you expect the general economic situation in this country to develop over the next 12 months?’
(a lot better – a little better – stay(ed) the same – a little worse - a lot worse)
Major Purchase Index
This index is based on the following question to consumers: ‘In view of the general economic situation, do you think now is the right time for people to make major purchases such as furniture or electrical goods?’
(right time – neither right nor wrong time – wrong time)
This index is based on the following question to consumers: ‘In view of the general economic situation do you think now is?’ (a very good time to save – a fairly good time to save – not a good time to save – a very bad time to save)
(Commented on but not included in the Index Score)