Consumer confidence continues to nosedive
New figures have shown that consumer confidence has continued to nosedive in March as people worry about the impact of inflation, interest increases and higher taxes.
The data from GfK reveals that its long-running Consumer Confidence Index dropped by five points in the month to -31.
Joe Staton, client strategy director GfK, said: “A wall of worry is confronting consumers this month and there is an unmistakable sense of crisis in our numbers. Consumers across the UK are experiencing the impact of soaring living costs with 30-year-high levels of inflation, record-high fuel and food prices, a recent interest-rate hike and the prospect of more increases to come, and higher taxation too – all against a background of stagnant pay rises that cannot compensate for the financial duress.”
The figures reveal that the index measuring people’s expectations for the general economic situation over the coming 12 months has fallen by six points to -49; this is 32 points lower than March 2021.
In addition, the index measuring the forecast for personal finances over the same period has declined by four points to -18, which is 28 points lower than this time last year.
Meanwhile, the the major purchase index has decreased by nine points to -24 in March; this is 13 points lower than it was this month last year.
Staton added: “This is the fourth month in a row that UK consumer confidence has dropped. With a headline score of -31, we are at a level last seen in October and November 2020 when Covid numbers were rising. Confidence in our personal financial situation and in the wider economy are severely depressed while the daily news of unimaginable suffering from a horrifying war in Europe and rising Covid numbers at home is adding to the bleak mood. The outlook for consumer confidence is not good; it’s certain there’s more bad news to come.”
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