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London, 19.08.2022

UK consumer confidence hits a new record low of -44 in August

Acute concerns in the face of soaring cost-of-living and bleak economic prospects

GfK’s long-running Consumer Confidence Index decreased three points in August to -44. All five measures were down in comparison to the July 22nd announcement.

Joe Staton, Client Strategy Director, GfK says: “The Overall Index Score dropped three points in August to -44, the lowest since records began in 1974. All measures fell, reflecting acute concerns as the cost-of-living soars. A sense of exasperation about the UK’s economy is the biggest driver of these findings.

"Our sub-measure on the general economy over the past year has decreased month-on-month since December 2021 – that’s eight months in a row. A similar consistent sharp decline since December 2021 is evident in how consumers see the economy a year ahead and this month’s score of -60 sets a new record.

"These findings point to a sense of capitulation, of financial events moving far beyond the control of ordinary people. With headline after headline revealing record inflation eroding household buying power, the strain on the personal finances of many in the UK is alarming. Just making ends meet has become a nightmare and the crisis of confidence will only worsen with the darkening days of autumn and the colder months of winter.”

UK Consumer Confidence Measures – August 2022

The Overall Index Score decreased three points in August to -44. All five measures were down in comparison to the July 22nd announcement.

Personal Financial Situation

The index measuring changes in personal finances over the last 12 months fell two points to -25; this is 25 points worse than August 2021. 

The forecast for personal finances over the next 12 months has decreased five points to -31; this is 42 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 down two points at -68; this is 26 points lower than in August 2021.  

Expectations for the general economic situation over the coming 12 months have deteriorated with a three-point drop to -60; this is 54 points lower than August 2021.

Major Purchase Index

The Major Purchase Index decreased by four points in August to -38; this is 35 points lower than this month last year.

Savings Index

The Savings Index is up five points this month at +18; this is seven points lower than this time last year.

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Download the data charts:

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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 conducted between August 1st and August 12th
  • 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 September 23rd. The dates for the remainder of the year are: October 21st; November 25th; and December 16th.
  • 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 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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For over 85 years, we have earned the trust of our clients around the world by solving critical business questions in their decision-making process around consumers, markets, brands and media. Our reliable data and insights, together with advanced AI capabilities, have revolutionized access to real-time actionable recommendations that drive marketing, sales and organizational effectiveness of our clients and partners. That’s how we promise and deliver “Growth from Knowledge”.



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