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London, 21.01.2022

UK Consumer Confidence drops four points in January

Financial pulse of the nation grows weaker amid worries over inflation, fuel bills and interest rate rises

GfK’s long-running Consumer Confidence Index decreased four points to -19 in January. All measures were down in comparison to the December 17th announcement.

Joe Staton, Client Strategy Director, GfK says: ““The UK’s financial pulse weakened further this January driven by concerns over personal finances and the general economic situation.

"All five measures are down in January and the picture on the economy is especially bad with an eight-point decrease in how we see the past year and the year to come. Despite some good news about the easing of Covid restrictions, consumers are clearly bracing themselves for surging inflation, rising fuel bills and the prospect of interest rate rises.

"The four-point fall in the major purchase index certainly suggests people are ready to tighten their belts. Will the mood brighten when the latest wave of the pandemic subsides and Covid numbers improve? It seems unlikely because it’s the cost-of-living squeeze that’s worrying us now and this will affect us for months to come.”

UK Consumer Confidence Measures – January 2022

The Overall Index Score decreased four points to -19 in January. All measures were down in comparison to the December 17th announcement.

Personal Financial Situation

The index measuring changes in personal finances over the last 12 months has decreased one point to -6; this is two points better than January 2021.

The forecast for personal finances over the next 12 months has decreased three points to -2; this is four 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 eight points lower at -47; this is 20 points higher than in January 2021.   

Expectations for the general economic situation over the coming 12 months have dropped by eight points to -32; this is 12 points higher than January 2021.

Major Purchase Index

The Major Purchase Index has decreased by four points to -10 in January; this is 14 points higher than it was this month last year.

Savings Index

The Savings Index has gone up by one point to +15 in January; this is three points lower than this time last year.

Download the data charts

About the survey

  • The UK Consumer Confidence Barometer is conducted by GfK. Any published material requires a reference to GfK e.g. ‘Research carried out 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 January 4th and 12th 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 February 25th 2022. The dates for the following four months are: March 25th 2022; April 22nd 2022; May 20th 2022; and June 24th 2022.
  • 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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