UK consumer confidence in freefall, worse to come, says GfK
UK consumer confidence continues to plummet. So how bad is it? Down seven points to -38 in April, it’s the second-lowest reading since records began nearly 50 years ago, according to the latest GfK report. A year ago the figure stood at -15.
It’s no surprise, therefore, that consumers are gloomier about the economy than they were during the financial crisis of 2008, the report noted.
The five individual measures of consumer confidence that make up the report also recorded sharp falls in April with GfK citing a combination of rocketing energy prices, higher taxes and a surge in the annual inflation rate.
GfK reported a sharp decrease in consumers' intentions to make major purchases with the public more pessimistic about their own finances, the state of the economy and their willingness to spend money on big ticket items. The Major Purchase Index is down eight points to -32 .
A separate survey from accountants KPMG has also showed around a third of consumers have cut back on spending this year, with particularly sharp drops in clothes shopping and eating out.
Joe Staton, client strategy director at GfK, said: “This is dire news for consumer confidence and with little prospect of any economic relief on the horizon we can only forecast further falls in the index for the year ahead.
“The scores looking at the next 12 months for our personal finances at -26 and the general economy at -55 are worse than the 2008 financial crash. The personal finance score for the next year is also worse than the initial Covid shock in 2020.”
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