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London, 23.09.2022

UK consumer confidence tumbles to new low of -49 in September

Deep concerns about personal finances and the economy over next 12 months  

GfK’s long-running Consumer Confidence Index decreased five points in September to -49, setting yet another record low. Four measures were down in comparison to the August 19th announcement, and one was flat.

Joe Staton, Client Strategy Director, GfK says:

“UK Consumer Confidence tumbled in September to a new low of -49, the worst Overall Index Score since records began in 1974. There have been new lows in four out of the last five months and all measures are once again severely depressed. Especially worrying are the two key future-facing indicators on personal finances in the coming year (down nine points to -40) and the economy in the next 12 months (down eight to -68). These numbers are where many forecasters look for signs of economic optimism among consumers and the results deliver very bad news in that respect. Consumers are buckling under the pressure of the UK’s growing cost-of-living crisis driven by rapidly rising food prices, domestic fuel bills and mortgage payments. They are asking themselves when and how the situation will improve. Today’s mini-budget, and the longer-term agenda to drive the economy and help rebalance household finances, will be the first major opportunity to deliver that improvement. It will also be a major test for the popularity of Liz Truss’s new Government.”

UK Consumer Confidence Measures – September 2022

The Overall Index Score decreased five points in September to -49, setting yet another record low. Four measures were down in comparison to the August 19th announcement, and one was flat.

Personal Financial Situation

The index measuring changes in personal finances over the last 12 months fell three points to -28; this is 24 points worse than September 2021. 

The forecast for personal finances over the next 12 months has decreased nine points to -40; this is 45 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 four points at -72; this is 29 points lower than in September 2021.  

Expectations for the general economic situation over the coming 12 months have deteriorated with an eight-point drop to -68; this is 52 points lower than September 2021.

Major Purchase Index

The Major Purchase Index is unchanged this month at -38; this is 32 points lower than this month last year.

Savings Index

The Savings Index is down seven points this month at +11; this is 11 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 September 1st and September 14th 2022. There was no significant difference in responses when comparing results prior to the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on September 8th with results after that date.
  • 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 October 21st 2022. The dates for the remainder of the year: November 18th 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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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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