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GfK’s long-running Consumer Confidence Index is unchanged at -14 for November. One measure increased, one is unchanged, and three measures decreased this month.
Joe Staton, Client Strategy Director at GfK, says: “In the face of Brexit and election uncertainty, consumers are clearly in a ‘wait-and-see’ mode. The score for the general economy over the coming year has ticked up three points and this is possibly an indication that some consumers believe the imminent general election might clear the Brexit deadlock, even though this sub-measure is still in deeply negative territory at -34.
"The general election is potentially an opportunity to move us out of the doldrums – but for this to happen there must be a clear result. A hung parliament could be very damaging for consumer confidence and would surely deepen the obvious malaise that we see month after month.
"We have not seen a positive headline score since January 2016 – that’s nearly four years ago. Uncertainty is nobody’s friend. So, while many issues are under the spotlight in this election, political parties will need to satisfy voters that they will be effective for the wider economy and that, as a consequence, people will be better off next year and beyond.
"Consumers need to be convinced they will be able to balance their personal accounts beyond ‘just about managing’. Fantasy economics alone will not guarantee votes.”
The Overall Index Score in November 2019 is -14. One measure increased, one is unchanged, and three measures decreased this month.
The index measuring changes in personal finances during the last 12 months has decreased by one point this month to 0; this is three points higher than November 2018.
The forecast for personal finances over the next 12 months is unchanged at +1 this month; this is two points lower than November 2018.
The measure for the general economic situation of the country during the last 12 months has decreased one point this month to -34; this is five points lower than in November 2018.
Expectations for the general economic situation over the next 12 months have increased three points to -34; this is two points lower than November 2018.
The major purchase index decreased one point in November to 0; this is three points higher than in November 2018.
The savings index has decreased three points in November to +18; this is six points higher than at this time last year.
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.
The UK Consumer Confidence Survey from GfK 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 – 14th November 2019.
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).
The release date for December is Friday 20th December 2019.
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
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
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
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)
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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