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Consumer confidence falls in October as Brexit weighs on people’s minds

New data has shown that consumer confidence has fallen this month as people bear in mind the possibility of a no deal Brexit. GfK’s long rung… View Article

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Consumer confidence falls in October as Brexit weighs on people’s minds

New data has shown that consumer confidence has fallen this month as people bear in mind the possibility of a no deal Brexit.

GfK’s long rung Consumer Confidence Index has decreased by one point to -10.

The company said the decline comes despite lower retail price inflation, accelerating wages growth and claims regarding the end of austerity, which would normally boost confidence.

Joe Staton, client strategy director at GfK said: “The prospect of a no-deal/hard-deal Brexit must surely be weighing heavily on people’s minds, injecting a mood of despondency as to how people view their future personal finances and the longer-term economic outlook for the UK.“

The measure for the forecast for personal finances over the next 12 months has decreased one point to +4 this month while the index measuring expectations for the general economic situation over the same period has edged down one point to -28.

Meanwhile the major purchase index has fallen by two points to +4.

GfK said the decline in the major purchase index will be of concern to retailers in the run-up to Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the Christmas trading period.

Staton added: “Consumers behave like financial markets – when confidence is lacking, markets stutter and tumble. When confidence comes back, we are more than willing to spend, borrow or save.

“However, with no immediate prospect of any feelgood news impacting our hearts, minds and wallets, the Index is set for further declines. It looks like the UK Government will need to administer an exceptionally strong tonic to the nation to settle the obvious Brexit anxieties.”

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