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London, 06.04.2020

UK Consumer Confidence dives to -34 during first weeks of lock-down

Biggest fall since records began in January 1974

GfK has released an interim COVID-19 flash report using data gathered between 16th and 27th March. It shows the long-running Consumer Confidence Index has decreased drastically by 25 points between the first two and last two weeks of March – falling to –34. All measures that make up the Index Score have decreased.

Joe Staton, GfK’s Client Strategy Director, says: “Our COVID-19 ‘flash report’ shows a dramatic result with consumer confidence falling off the cliff in the last two weeks of March. The last time we saw such a decline was during the 2008 economic downturn. Our falling confidence in our personal financial situation and the wider economy reflects the new concern for many across the UK. Despite record grocery sales, and recent peaks for purchases of freezers, TVs and home office equipment as people prepared for a long period in the home, the Major Purchase Index is down 50 points - a stark picture for some parts of the retail industry in the short to medium term.”

UK Consumer Confidence Measures – 16-27 March 2020

The Overall Index Score for the final two weeks of March 2020 is -34. All measures have decreased.

GfK Consumer Confidence Flash Report 16-27 March 2020 - index trend line

GfK Consumer Confidence Flash Report 16-27 March 2020 - index table

About the CCB Flash Report

  • This COVID-19 flash report was conducted among a sample of 2,000 individuals aged 16+
  • This is an interim report to evaluate the impact of the UK’s COVID-19 lockdown on consumer confidence. It was produced to accompany the monthly UK Consumer Confidence Barometer which is conducted by GfK on behalf of the EU
  • 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 16th – 27th March 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.
  • 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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