Warm weather and World Cup send UK consumer confidence surging
Consumer confidence in the UK grew by 2 percentage points in the second quarter to -4%, reaching the highest level since 2011, but while consumers are feeling more confident, the mood in businesses is more cautious.
This is according to the latest Deloitte Consumer Tracker, which surveyed more than 3,000 UK consumers between 15 and 18 June to understand their attitudes towards the overall state of the economy and their personal financial situation.
The survey captured the excitement in the build-up to England playing in the World Cup which, coupled with weeks of warmer weather, the royal wedding and the strong labour market, contributed to a general feeling of optimism among Britons.
There was also more confidence in disposable income, up by 13 percentage points to -11%, which translated in UK consumers spending more on discretionary items. “Over the last year we have seen consumers exercising caution when spending, despite their confidence increasing during that period. The trend has been for consumers to favour spending on essential items over discretionary categories and cutting back on leisure spending. The fact that we are now seeing a narrowing of this gap is a sign of consumers delving into their pockets,” said Ben Perkins, head of consumer research at Deloitte.
But while consumers are feeling more optimistic about the country’s economic future, businesses remain cautious, concerned after months of high street woes and broader macro-economic concerns.
“While consumer confidence is on the rise, the mood in business is more cautious, reflecting the slowdown in UK growth and Brexit uncertainties. Buoyant consumer sentiment reflects a better picture in terms of jobs and wages. Add in warm weather, a royal wedding and a football World Cup, it’s not hard to see why consumer spirits have been given a lift,” Stewart said.
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