UK consumer confidence rising, finances outlook improving, says GfK
More positive news for retailers to enjoy Friday. Not only has consumer confidence continued to rise in March but Britons are also more upbeat about personal finances for year ahead, according to GfK’s long-running Consumer Confidence Index.
Consumer Confidence has increased seven points to -16 this month and all five of its key measures increased in comparison to February, giving hope "this upward trajectory... will build over the next six months and beyond", said GfK.
The forecast for personal finances over the next 12 months also rose six points this month to +10, seven points higher than this time last year. What’s more, the index measuring changes in personal finances over the last 12 months rose six points to -2, but that’s four points down on March 2020.
But although the measure for the general economic situation of the country during the last 12 months rose four points, it still stands at a reading of -60, some 37 points lower than in March 2020. Yet expectations for the general economic situation over the coming 12 months have jumped 13 points to -17, some 10 points higher than a year ago.
Also, the Major Purchase Index increased eight points to -11 in March, but this is still nine points lower than it was this month last year.
Finally, the Savings Index has risen two points to +21, some 11 points higher than this time last year.
Joe Staton, GfK’s Client Strategy director, said: “Spring is in the air on the back of well-received Budget announcements, the successful vaccine roll-out and roadmaps in place for ending lockdown [so] all measures jumped in March.
“This marks an improvement each month into 2021. If this improved mood translates into spending, it might help reverse some of the economic damage the UK has suffered. And the eight-point fillip in our major purchase measure… suggests this may well happen. It’s highly likely this upward trajectory on all measures will build over the next six months and beyond”.
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