Consumer confidence falls

26th February 2024

Consumer confidence in the UK has fallen for the first time since October, as recession concerns and economic uncertainty took their toll. The GfK survey revealed a drop in confidence to minus 21 points in February, from minus 19 points in the previous month, reflecting a deterioration in confidence about the health of the economy over the next 12 months.

The fall is being attributed to recession concerns and uncertainty around how the economy will perform in the coming year. The data showed that households are showing caution in their spending with the major purchases index dropping and the savings index rising this month.

Joe Staton, Client Strategy Director GfK, said “There’s a mixture of bad news and good news for February. The bad news is that the improvement in the Overall Index Score seen over recent months stalled slightly in February due to a fall across most measures. However, the good news is that optimism for our personal financial situation for the next 12 months has not slipped back.

“Although registering again at zero, this is a significant improvement on the -18 score from February last year. This metric is key to understanding the financial mood of the nation because confident householders are more likely to spend despite the cost-of-living crisis. Looking forward, it will be interesting to see what the forthcoming Budget delivers in terms of taxation and inflation. These are important issues to everyone – especially in an election year. The recent performance of the economy will play a crucial role in determining results at the ballot box. All the measures this February are better than a year ago, but consumer confidence alone will not carry us into a brighter economic future.”