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UK consumers are 'resiliently bullish'

News, 29 January 2016

LONDON: Despite stock markets taking a hit around the world amid concerns about growth prospects in China, consumer sentiment in the UK remains noticeably upbeat, according to the latest Consumer Confidence Index from GfK.

The research firm reported that its overall UK index increased two points to +4 in January, with four of its five measures recording increases this month.

Only one measure, consumers' personal financial situation over the next 12 months, remained unchanged since December, but even this remained in positive territory at +9 points, or four points higher than in January 2015.

British consumers continue to have concerns about the general economic situation, which remains negative on both measures covering this topic, but sentiment has improved since last month.

The index covering the general economic situation over the last 12 months increased +2 to -3 points in January while that covering the next 12 months rose by +1 to -5 points.

However, in what will be seen as good news for retailers and brands, the index covering major purchase intent increased a full nine points to +16 since December, or 11 points higher than this time last year.

Despite lingering concerns about the general economic situation, Joe Staton, GfK's head of market dynamics, said UK consumers clearly believe that now is a good time to buy.

"UK consumers remain resiliently bullish this month with no sign of the January Blues denting their view on the state of their personal finances for both the past year and also for the rest of 2016," he said.

"And with post-Christmas bargain-hungry consumers evidently snapping up bumper discounts across the country, the Index was further boosted with shoppers agreeing that now was a good time to buy (+9 points)," he added.

Data sourced from GfK; additional content by Warc staff