GfK’s long-running Consumer Confidence Index increased two points to –12 in September. All five measures increased this month.
Joe Staton, Client Strategy Director at GfK, says: “More mixed signals this month as consumers continue to feel less than positive about the state of their personal finances and the general economy. While all sub measures are higher, they are anaemic in the case of our purchase intentions and how we view our wallets - and the results on the wider economy are still depressed.
"Since the Brexit referendum we have witnessed a long succession of negative Overall Index scores with the overall trend downwards. This month, British consumers appear to be treading water during this wait-and-see run-up to October 31st.
"Confidence is an important indicator which typically increases as the economy expands and decreases when the economy contracts and so far, consumer confidence is holding up. We certainly have a long way to go to match the record low Index score of -39 witnessed during the early days of the last recession. But will it stay that way? You can almost sense people are keeping their fingers crossed.”
The Overall Index Score in September 2019 is -12. All five measures increased in September.
The index measuring changes in personal finances during the last 12 months has increased by three points this month to +2; this is one point higher than September 2018.
The forecast for personal finances over the next 12 months increased by two points to +4 this month; this is one point lower than September 2018.
The measure for the general economic situation of the country during the last 12 months has increased two points this month to -32; this is four points lower than in September 2018.
Expectations for the general economic situation over the next 12 months have increased three points to -35; this is eight points lower than September 2018.
The major purchase index increased two points in September to +3; this is three points lower than in September 2018.
The savings index has increased two points in September to +23; this is ten points higher than at this time last year.
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 2,000 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 2nd – 13th September 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 October is Thursday 31st October 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 2006.
The table below provides an overview of the questions asked to obtain the individual index measures: