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London, 21.05.2021

UK consumer confidence leaps six points to -9 in May

Easing of COVID-19 restrictions boosts mood as consumer confidence regains all ground lost due to pandemic

GfK’s long-running Consumer Confidence Index increased six points to -9 in May. Three measures were up in comparison to the April 23rd announcement, one measure was down and one was flat.

Joe Staton, Client Strategy Director GfK, comments:

“The financial mood of the nation has bounced back to its pre-lockdown figure of minus 9 this month, meaning confidence has made up all the ground lost to COVID-19.

"UK consumer confidence is being driven by continued optimism for our future personal finances and for the wider UK economy in the next 12 months. The measure for the 'economy next year’ has recorded a  huge15-point jump this month and, since January, has leapt from -44 to +4. These findings reflect April’s ‘feelgood’ re-opening of outdoor pubs, shops, gyms and hairdressers, combined with continuing vaccination success - and don't yet include the possible extra boost if green-list vacation opportunities are announced.

"In addition, we’re seeing a healthy five-point uptick in the major purchase index, with more consumers seizing the opportunity to splash the ‘accidental savings’ that some have collected. Now really is a good time to buy. Growing confidence is fuelling the economy and only a reversal to lockdown can dampen this solid momentum.”

UK Consumer Confidence Measures – May 2021

The Overall Index Score increased six points to -9 in May. Three measures were up in comparison to the April 23rd announcement, one measure was down and one was flat.

Personal Financial Situation

The index measuring changes in personal finances over the last 12 months is down one point at -4; this is the same score as May 2020. 

The forecast for personal finances over the next 12 months is the same as last month at +10; this is 19 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 up ten points at -48; this is seven higher than in May 2020.

Expectations for the general economic situation over the coming 12 months have improved by 15 points to +4; this is 58 points higher than May 2020.

Major Purchase Index

The Major Purchase Index has increased by five points to -7 in May; this is 40 points higher than it was this month last year.

Savings Index

The Savings Index is the same as last month at +22 in May; this is eight points higher than this time last year.

Download the UK Consumer Confidence data charts for May 2021:
- Ends -

About the survey

  • The UK Consumer Confidence Barometer is conducted by GfK and 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 May 4th and May 13th 2021.
  • 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 June 25th The remaining dates for 2021 are: July 23rd, August 20th, September 24th, October 22nd, November 19th and December 23rd. 
  • 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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