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London, 25.09.2020

UK Consumer Confidence improves two points in September

GfK’s long-running Consumer Confidence Index has increased two points to -25 for September. Three measures increased, one decreased and one stayed the same in comparison to the August 21st announcement.

Joe Staton, Client Strategy Director GfK, says: “Despite unfavourable double-dip economic headwinds and the threat of a second lockdown, we have seen an uptick for September as the Overall Index Score climbs to -25 from the near-historic low of -36 in our early June ‘flash’. This means consumer confidence has crept forward for nearly four months in a row now, but can this fragile improvement last or is it about to come to a grinding halt?

"Looking ahead over the rest of 2020 and beyond, keep an eye on our personal finance measure for the coming year and the major purchase intentions of consumers. These reflect how much we intend to spend, shop or invest, all vital considerations for retailers as we enter the ‘golden quarter’ in the run-up to Christmas. However, consumers are as jittery as stock markets right now and as the UK government puts the brakes back on – and there may be more to come – only an unbridled optimist will bet on confidence climbing further.”

UK Consumer Confidence Measures – September 2020

The Overall Index Score increased two points to -25 for September. Three measures increased, one decreased and one stayed the same in comparison to the August 21st announcement.

Personal Financial Situation

The index measuring changes in personal finances over the last 12 months is down two points to -7; this is nine points lower than September 2019. 

The forecast for personal finances over the next 12 months is unchanged this month at +1; this is three points lower than September 2019.

General Economic Situation

The measure for the general economic situation of the country during the last 12 months has increased by one point to -61; this is 29 points lower than in September 2019.  

Expectations for the general economic situation over the coming 12 months are up four points at -38 points; this is three points lower than September 2019.

Major Purchase Index

The Major Purchase Index has increased by four points to -21 in September; this is 24 points lower than it was in September 2019.

Savings Index

The Savings Index has dropped one point to +20 in September; this is three points lower than this time last year.

Download the charts: 
UK Consumer Confidence Barometer - September 2020

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About GfK's UK Consumer Confidence Barometer survey

  • 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.
  • This month’s survey 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 between 1st September and 14th September 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 have now reverted to a monthly frequency. Forthcoming confirmed dates are as follows:
    October 23rd, November 20th and December 18th.
  • 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 is an overview of the questions asked to obtain the individual index measures:

Personal Financial Situation

(Q1/Q2)

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

(Q3/Q4)

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

(Q8)

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)

Savings Index

(Q10)

 

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)

 



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