Consumer confidence has slumped ahead of Christmas as consumers continue to suffer a cost of living crunch. GfK’s monthly measure of consumer sentiment fell by nine points to -30 in October, the weakest reading since July.
The index measuring changes in personal finances during the last year is up down six points at -19; this is nine points better than October 2022.
The forecast for personal finances over the next 12 months decreased six points to -8, which is 26 points higher than this time last year.
Joe Staton, Client Strategy Director GfK, said “UK consumer confidence has fallen nine points this month to -30 and takes us back to where we were in July this year. This sharp fall underlines that the cost-of-living crisis, and simply not having enough money to make-ends-meet, are still exerting acute pressure for many consumers.”
“The fierce headwinds of meeting the accelerating costs of heating our homes, filling our petrol tanks, coping with surging mortgage and rental rates, a slowing jobs market and now the uncertainties posed by conflict in the Middle East, are all contributing to this growing unease. The timing of the sharp drop in our major purchase measure – down 14 points – will concern retailers across the land in the run-up to Christmas. The volatility we are seeing in consumer confidence is a sure sign of a depressed economic mood and there’s no immediate prospect of any improvement.”