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London, 25.03.2022

UK consumer confidence continues to nosedive as cost-of-living crisis deepens

GfK’s long-running Consumer Confidence Index decreased five points to -31 in March. All five measures were down in comparison to the February 25th announcement.

Joe Staton, Client Strategy Director GfK, says: “A wall of worry is confronting consumers this month and there is an unmistakable sense of crisis in our numbers. Consumers across the UK are experiencing the impact of soaring living costs with 30-year-high levels of inflation, record-high fuel and food prices, a recent interest-rate hike and the prospect of more increases to come, and higher taxation too – all against a background of stagnant pay rises that cannot compensate for the financial duress. This is the fourth month in a row that UK consumer confidence has dropped.

"With a headline score of -31, we are at a level last seen in October and November 2020 when Covid numbers were rising. Confidence in our personal financial situation and in the wider economy are severely depressed while the daily news of unimaginable suffering from a horrifying war in Europe and rising COVID numbers at home is adding to the bleak mood. The outlook for consumer confidence is not good; it’s certain there’s more bad news to come.”

UK Consumer Confidence Measures – March 2022

The Overall Index Score decreased five points to -31 in March. All five measures were down in comparison to the February 25th announcement.

Personal Financial Situation

The index measuring changes in personal finances over the last 12 months has decreased two points to -13; this is 11 points worse than March 2021. 

The forecast for personal finances over the next 12 months has decreased four points to -18; this is 28 points lower than this time last year.

General Economic Situation

The measure for the general economic situation of the country during the last 12 months is one point lower at -51; this is nine points higher than in March 2021. 

Expectations for the general economic situation over the coming 12 months have dropped by six points to -49; this is 32 points lower than March 2021.

Major Purchase Index

The Major Purchase Index has decreased by nine points to -24 in March; this is 13 points lower than it was this month last year.

Savings Index

The Savings Index has gone up by four points to +18 in March; this is three points lower than this time last year.

Download the data charts for March 2022

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About the survey

  • The UK Consumer Confidence Barometer is conducted by GfK.
  • This month’s survey was conducted among a sample of 2,000 individuals aged 16+.
  • 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 March 1st and 14th 2022.
  • 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 next press release is April 22nd 2022. The dates for the remainder of the year: May 20th 2022; June 24th 2022; July 22nd 2022; August 19th 2022; September 23rd 2022; October 21st 2022; November 25th 2022; December 16th 2022.
  • Any published material requires a reference to GfK e.g. ‘Research carried out by GfK’.
  • 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

(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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