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19.06.2020

UK Consumer Confidence gains six points

GfK’s long-running Consumer Confidence Index increased six points to -30 for June. All five measures were up in comparison to the 3rd COVID-19 flash of June 5th.

Joe Staton, GfK’s Client Strategy Director, comments:

“We have a six-point uptick in the Overall Index Score with all measures up and particularly strong increases in future perceptions of personal finances and the economy. But we still have a story that’s about negative numbers so it’s too early to say that consumers are moving on from the COVID-19 crisis.

"The initial fall we announced on April 6th (-9 down to -34) was the biggest ever since this survey’s origins in 1974. You have to go way back to the 1979 oil crisis to find anything that comes close.This latest improvement may be misleading.

"Consumers appear to be confused and some are not sure what to think. Yes, we have seen queues as some shoppers return to battered high streets. But with economists warning that the post-lockdown upturn might not restore GDP to pre-COVID-19 levels, and with the labour market set for more job losses, we have to question whether we are seeing early signs of economic recovery or that infamous ‘dead cat bounce’. Most bets at present will be on the dead cat.”

UK Consumer Confidence Measures – June 2020

The Overall Index Score increased by six points over the past two weeks. All five measures increased.

Personal Financial Situation

The index measuring changes in personal finances during the last 12 months is up one point to -9; this is eight points lower than June 2019. 

The forecast for personal finances over the next 12 months is up six points to -4 this month; this is six points lower than June 2019.

General Economic Situation

The measure for the general economic situation of the country during the last 12 months has improved by one point to -59; this is 27 points lower than in June 2019.  

Expectations for the general economic situation over the coming 12 months are up by nine points at -48 points; this is 15 points lower than June 2019.

Major Purchase Index

The Major Purchase Index has increased nine points to -32 in June; this is 30 points lower than it was in June 2019.

Savings Index

The Savings Index has improved by four points in June to +16; this is three points lower than at this time last year.

About the survey

  • The UK Consumer Confidence Barometer is conducted by GfK on behalf of the EU, with similar surveys being conducted in each European country. In producing its own reports on the whole of Europe, the EU applies a seasonal adjustment to the data, to smooth out any changes that are functions, at least in part, of the time of year.
  • Historically, the UK data have not been seasonally adjusted in this way, and to maintain comparability, GfK continues not to apply this adjustment. This can lead to situations where the EU figures show different movements in a particular month from those produced by GfK. Individual months may be affected, but the long-term trend is not.
  • This month’s survey was conducted among a sample of 2,000 individuals aged 16+ on behalf of the European Commission.
  • 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 during 1st - 11th June 2020.
  • 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.
  • Results for the Consumer Confidence Barometer are normally available on the last working day of each month at 00.01am (unless the final working day of a month is a Monday, in which case the results are published on the Friday preceding the final working day). A further COVID-19 flash report will be issued on Friday July 3rd.
  • Any published material requires a reference to both GfK and the European Commission e.g. ‘Research carried out by GfK on behalf of the European Commission’.
  • 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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