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London, 16.12.2022

UK Consumer confidence up two points in December

Modest improvement to -42 but no winter cheer as Index remains at historic lows     

GfK’s long-running Consumer Confidence Index increased a meagre two points in December to -42. Three measures were up, one was down, and one was unchanged in comparison to the November 18th announcement.t.

Joe Staton, Client Strategy Director, GfK says:

“December marks the eighth month in a row in which the Index has bumped along at -40 or worse, the first time this has happened since our records began nearly 50 years ago. Despite the latest GDP figures showing slight growth in October, the warning is of a tough road ahead and that the UK is not out of the recessionary woods. Real wages are falling as inflation continues to bite hard, further straining the discretionary budget of many households as we enter the last few shopping days before Christmas. The outlook for our personal financial situation over the next 12 months – perhaps the key metric as we enter a new year – is stuck at -29. And concerns about our economic future remain acute. As we enter the festive season, the Overall Index Score is still depressed and, with scant seasonal joy at present and no immediate prospect of fiscal good news, it is unlikely we will see a rebound in confidence anytime soon.”

UK Consumer Confidence Measures – December 2022

The Overall Index Score increased a meagre two points in December to -42. Three measures were up, one was down, and one was unchanged in comparison to the November 18th announcement. 

Personal Financial Situation

The index measuring changes in personal finances over the last 12 months decreased four points to -28; this is 23 points worse than December 2021.  
The forecast for personal finances over the next 12 months remained at -29; this is 30 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 up one point at -66; this is 27 points lower than in December 2021.

Expectations for the general economic situation over the coming 12 months have improved by five points to -53, but this is still 29 points lower than December 2021.

Major Purchase Index

The Major Purchase Index is up four points to -34; this is 28 points lower than this month last year.

Savings Index

The Savings Index is down one point this month at +20; this is six points better than this time last year.

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Download the data charts:

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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 conducted between November 30th and December 9th 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.
  • Press release dates for the first half of 2023 are: January 20th; February 24th; March 24th; April 21st; May 19th and June 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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