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London, 19.03.2021

UK consumer confidence shows green shoots of recovery, March 2021

GfK’s long-running Consumer Confidence Index increased seven points to -16 in March. All five measures increased in comparison to the February 19th announcement.

Joe Staton, GfK’s Client Strategy Director, comments, “Spring is in the air on the back of well-received Budget announcements, the successful vaccine roll-out and roadmaps in place for ending lockdown. All measures jumped in March with the Overall Index Score up a robust seven points to -16. This marks an improvement each month into 2021.

"The scores looking ahead one year are recovering especially well. The personal finance measure for the next 12 months is now at +10, which is the first time in three years it has been this high. Our measure on economic prospects for the next 12 months is also up 13 points to -17, a strong result following February’s equally strong 14-point boost.

"If this improved mood translates into spending, it might help reverse some of the economic damage the UK has suffered. And the eight-point fillip in our major purchase measure to the new level of -11 suggests this may well happen. It’s highly likely this upward trajectory on all measures will build over the next six months and beyond.”

UK Consumer Confidence Measures – March 2021

The Overall Index Score increased seven points to -16 in March. All five measures were up against the February 19th announcement.

Personal Financial Situation

The index measuring changes in personal finances over the last 12 months is up six points at -2; this is four points worse than March 2020. 

The forecast for personal finances over the next 12 months is also up six points this month at +10; this is seven 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 four points at -60; but this is 37 points lower than in March 2020.  

Expectations for the general economic situation over the coming 12 months have jumped 13 points to -17; this is ten points higher than March 2020.

Major Purchase Index

The Major Purchase Index has increased by eight points to -11 in March; but this is still nine points lower than it was this month last year.

Savings Index

The Savings Index is up by two points to +21 in March; this is 11 points higher than this time last year.

Download the GfK UK consumer confidence charts for March 2021

-Ends-

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 March 1st and March 12th 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 April 23rd. The next three dates after that are: May 21st, June 25th and July 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 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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