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London, 18.12.2020

UK Consumer Confidence leaps up seven points this December

GfK’s long-running Consumer Confidence Index improved seven points in December, to stand at to -26 overall. All five measures increased in comparison to the November 20th announcement.

Joe Staton, GfK’s Client Strategy Director, says:

“Many might be surprised that we are ending 2020 on a much brighter note after a roller-coaster of a year. It’s safe to say that consumers are looking for good news and they have found it in the form of the UK’s COVID-19 vaccination programme getting underway, which has lifted the mood pre-Christmas 2020.

"The 15-point leap in consumer views on the future economy stands out: we have not registered a change of that magnitude for that measure since April/May 2011. The renewed expectations on personal finances looking ahead are also welcome, while the six-point uptick in the Major Purchase Index is good news for online and offline retailers.

"While confidence is still in negative figures overall, we can start to ask: are we finally heading in the right direction?”

UK Consumer Confidence Measures – December 2020

The Overall Index Score increased seven points to -26 in December. All five measures increased in comparison to the November 20th announcement.

Personal Financial Situation

The index measuring changes in personal finances over the last 12 months is up seven points       to -9; this is six points lower than December 2019. 

The forecast for personal finances over the next 12 months is up eight points this month at +3; this is the same as December 2019.

General Economic Situation

The measure for the general economic situation of the country during the last 12 months is up two points at -65; this is 34 points lower than in December 2019.  

Expectations for the general economic situation over the coming 12 months are up 15 points; this is eight points lower than December 2019.

Major Purchase Index

The Major Purchase Index has increased by six points to -22 in December; this is 25 points lower than it was in December 2019.

Savings Index

The Savings Index has jumped six points to +17 in December; this is only one point lower than this time last year.

Download the GfK UK Consumer Confidence Barometer charts - December 2020


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About the 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 December and 11th December 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.
  • The confirmed date of the first press release in 2021 is January 22nd. The following three confirmed dates for 2021 are: February 19th, March 19th and April 23rd.
  • 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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