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London, 21.08.2020

UK Consumer Confidence holds at -27 in August

London, August 21st, 2020 – GfK’s long-running Consumer Confidence Index has remained at -27 for August. Three measures were down and two were up against the July 24th announcement. 

Joe Staton, GfK’s Client Strategy Director, says: “Circumspect consumers report they are more confident about their personal financial situation over the next year. However, the uptick from zero up to +1 does not amount to much, and this could change quickly when furlough ends and the inevitable redundancies start.

"Employment is now the big issue because the pandemic has ended years of job security. Yes, discounted dinners have proved a winner with hungry consumers across the country this month, but it’s difficult to see significantly increased appetite for other types of spending for now.

"While our Major Purchase Index increased by one point in August, it is still in negative terriroty, and the economic headwinds are not favourable as we enter the key retailing months at the end of the year.”

 UK Consumer Confidence Measures – August 2020

The Overall Index Score has remained at -27 for August. Three measures were down and two were up against the July 24th announcement.

Personal Financial Situation

The index measuring changes in personal finances over the last 12 months is down one point to -5; this is four points lower than August 2019. 

The forecast for personal finances over the next 12 months is up one point to +1 this month; this is one point lower than August 2019.

General Economic Situation

The measure for the general economic situation of the country during the last 12 months has decreased by one point to -62; this is 28 points lower than in August 2019.  

Expectations for the general economic situation over the coming 12 months are down by one point at -42 points; this is four points lower than August 2019.

Major Purchase Index

The Major Purchase Index has increased by one point to -25 in August; this is 26 points lower than it was in August 2019.

Savings Index

The Savings Index has stayed at +21 in August; this is the same as this time last year.

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2020-08_GfK Consumer Confidence Barometer Charts August 2020.pdf

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About the GfK Consumer Confidence 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 between 1st August and 13th August 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 have now reverted to a monthly frequency. Forthcoming confirmed dates are as follows: September 25th, October 23rd, November 20th and December 18th.
  • 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 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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