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London, 22.04.2022

UK Consumer confidence in freefall as Index crashes in April to -38

GfK’s long-running Consumer Confidence Index decreased seven points to -38 in April. All five measures were down in comparison to the March 25th announcement.

Joe Staton, Client Strategy Director GfK, says: “The cost crunch is really hitting the pockets of UK consumers and the headline confidence score has dropped to a near historic low. The scores looking at the next 12 months for our personal finances at -26 and the general economy at -55 are worse than the 2008 financial crash. The personal finance score for the next year is also worse than the initial Covid shock in 2020. When rising inflation and interest rates meet low growth and declining incomes, consumers will understandably be extremely cautious about any spending. There’s clear evidence that Brits are thinking twice about shopping, as seen in the tumbling Major Purchase Index – now is not considered to be a good time to buy. This is dire news for consumer confidence and with little prospect of any economic relief on the horizon we can only forecast further falls in the Index for the year ahead.”

UK Consumer Confidence Measures – April 2022

The Overall Index Score decreased seven points to -38 in March. All five measures were down in comparison to the March 25th announcement.

Personal Financial Situation

The index measuring changes in personal finances over the last 12 months has decreased six points to -19; this is 16 points worse than April 2021. 

The forecast for personal finances over the next 12 months has decreased eight points to -26; this is 36 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 nine points at -60; this is two points lower than in April 2021.

Expectations for the general economic situation over the coming 12 months have dropped by six points to -55; this is 44 points lower than April 2021.

Major Purchase Index

The Major Purchase Index has decreased by eight points to -32 in March; this is 20 points lower than this month last year

Savings Index

The Savings Index has gone down by eight points to +10 in April; this is 12 points lower than this time last year.

Download the data charts for March 2022

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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 carried out between March 1st and 14th 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 April 22nd 2022. The dates for the remainder of the year: May 20th 2022; June 24th 2022; July 22nd 2022; August 19th 2022; September 23rd 2022; October 21st 2022; November 25th 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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