GfK’s long-running Consumer Confidence Index has increased two points to –9 for January. Four measures increased, and one measure decreased this month.
Joe Staton, Client Strategy Director at GfK, says:
“The first month of 2020 has given us a mini Boris-bounce with a two-point increase in our Consumer Confidence headline score. While January marks four years of the Index failing to penetrate positive territory, we now have two consecutive months of improvement. This is good news. The latest measures concerning our personal financial situation for the last and next 12 months are encouragingly healthy and positive, as is the improvement in our view of the wider economic picture for the UK. This is linked to the uptick in the jobs and housing markets, coupled with low headline inflation and interest rates. The Major Purchase Index is the only measure to decline this month, reflecting January’s seasonal post-Christmas empty-wallet feeling, and further impacting the longer-term contraction and sluggishness experienced across the retail sector. However, if current trends continue, we’d expect a return to positive headline scores soon. Are we are finally seeing an end to the UK’s jittery consumer mood?”
UK Consumer Confidence Measures – January 2020
The Overall Index Score in January 2020 is -9. Four measures increased, and one measure decreased this month.
Personal Financial Situation
The index measuring changes in personal finances during the last 12 months has increased by four points this month to +1; this is one point higher than January 2019. The forecast for personal finances over the next 12 months has also increased and stands three points higher at +6 this month; this is five points higher than January 2019.
General Economic Situation
The measure for the general economic situation of the country during the last 12 months has increased three points this month to -28; this is seven points higher than in January 2019. Expectations for the general economic situation over the next 12 months have also increased three points to -24; this is 15 points higher than January 2019.
Major Purchase Index
The Major Purchase Index decreased two points in January to +1; this is one point lower than January 2019.
The Savings Index has, however, increased two points this month to +20; 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 2nd – 14th January 2020
The study arrives at the index score by arriving at an average of averages from core questions
This survey was conducted via a nationally representative online survey, with a yearly telephone survey conducted to calibrate the data
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 January is Friday 31st January 2020.
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:
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