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London, 24.09.2021

UK Consumer Confidence falls back five points in September with all measures down

UK consumers reveal anxieties about possible cost of living

GfK’s long-running Consumer Confidence Index decreased five points to -13 in September. All measures were down in comparison to the August 20th announcement.

Joe Staton, Client Strategy Director GfK, comments: “On the back of concerns about rising prices for fuel and food, the growth in headline inflation, tax hikes, empty shelves and the end of the furlough scheme, September sees consumers slamming on the brakes as those already in economic hardship anticipate a potential cost of living crisis.

"All measures have declined this month and consumers are clearly worrying about their personal financial situation and the wider economic prospects for the year ahead. The Index also records a fall in the major purchase index: depressing news for hard-pressed retailers looking to build sales as they go into the key holiday period.

"When consumer confidence drops, shoppers tend to spend less, and this dampens the overall economic prospects for the UK. This really is an unwelcome picture if this continues into 2022 and beyond.”

UK Consumer Confidence Measures – September 2021

The Overall Index Score decreased five points to -13 in September. All measures were down in comparison to the August 20th announcement.

Personal Financial Situation

The index measuring changes in personal finances over the last 12 months has dropped four points to -4; this is three points better than September 2020. 

The forecast for personal finances over the next 12 months has decreased six points to +5; this is four points higher 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 one point at -43; this is 18 points higher than in September 2020.  

Expectations for the general economic situation over the coming 12 months have fallen by ten points to -16; but this is still 22 points higher than September 2020.

Major Purchase Index

The Major Purchase Index has decreased by three points to -6 in September; this is 15 points higher than it was this month last year.

Savings Index

The Savings Index is down three points to +22 in September; this is only two points higher than this time last year.

Download the data charts: UK Consumer Confidence - September 2021

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 September 1st and September 14th.
  • 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 22 October. The remaining dates for 2021 are: 19 November and 23 December.
  • 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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