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London, 22.10.2021

UK Consumer Confidence takes a turn for the worse, down to -17 in Oct

Financial pulse of the nation drops for third month in a row

GfK’s long-running Consumer Confidence Index decreased four points to -17 in October. All measures were down in comparison to the September 24th announcement.

Joe Staton, Client Strategy Director GfK, says: “After six-months of robust recovery in the first half of 2021, UK consumer confidence has taken a turn for the worse with all vital signs weakening. For two consecutive months five sub-measures have decreased and the headline score has dropped three months in a row. The sharpest concern is how consumers see the future economy with this collapsing ten points this month just as it did in September. Against a backdrop of cheerless domestic news – fuel and food shortages, surging inflation squeezing household budgets, the likelihood of interest rate rises impacting the cost of borrowing, and climbing Covid rates – it is not surprising that consumers are feeling down-in-the mouth about the chilly winter months ahead. Worryingly for British retailing in the run-up to Christmas, there’s a further decline in the intention to make major purchases. The financial mood of the nation has changed and consumers could do with some strong tonic to lift their spirits.”

UK Consumer Confidence Measures – October 2021

The Overall Index Score decreased four points to -17 in October. All measures were down in comparison to the September 24th announcement.

Personal Financial Situation

The index measuring changes in personal finances over the last 12 months has dropped one point to -5; this is four points better than October 2020. 

The forecast for personal finances over the next 12 months has decreased four points to +1; this is only one point 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 three points at -46; this is 21 points higher than in October 2020. 

Expectations for the general economic situation over the coming 12 months have fallen by ten points to -26; but this is still 24 points higher than October 2020.

Major Purchase Index

The Major Purchase Index has decreased by four points to -10 in October; this is 17 points higher than it was this month last year.

Savings Index

The Savings Index has stayed the same at +22 in October; this is eight points higher than this time last year.

Download the data charts: 

 
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 October 1st and 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 November 19th. The final date for 2021 is December 23rd. 
  • 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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