Consumer confidence falls in UK

02 November 2012

LONDON: Consumer confidence levels are declining in the UK, dampening prospects of rising expenditure rates among shoppers.

GfK, the research firm, revealed its barometer of popular sentiment, drawing on a poll of 2,004 people, stood at –30 points in October, down by two points from September and the worst performance in six months.

Moreover, although the latest figures bettered the –32 points recorded in October 2011, GfK warned that an attitude of caution still remains discernible.

"Just as the economy moves out of recession consumer confidence dips again," said Nick Moon, GfK's managing director of social research.

"While the Olympics are thought to have boosted GDP in the last quarter, the late Summer boost in consumer sentiment has now faded. The government will be concerned that the economic bounce will follow a similar path and deflate during the Autumn."

When assessing their likely personal financial circumstances for the next 12 months, the panel yielded an average reading of –13 points, a five point drop since September, and three points behind the total logged in October 2011.

Upon being asked to appraise the wider economic situation over the same period, scores came in at –29 points. This compared with –27 points last month, and –31 points a year ago.

"The fragility of the recovery is underlined by the fact that people are more worried about their own financial situation over the next 12 months," Moon said.

"This certainly doesn't suggest there will be a spending boom on the back of the official emergence from recession."

Such figures, however, did constitute an improvement when measured against perceptions of the fiscal climates in the preceding 12 months, which stood at –53 points in the latest round of research.

Elsewhere, GfK's index covering the likelihood of making a major purchase, hit –33 points in October, off by a two points on a monthly basis and by one point annually.

Data sourced from GfK; additional content by Warc staff