Consumer confidence makes a surprise rebound in February
GfK’s long-running Consumer Confidence Index has risen in February as people become more optimistic about their financial future.
The overall index has increased by a surprise seven points to -38 following uplifts across all measures, despite the continuing impact of inflation and the cost-of-living crisis.
Joe Staton, GfK client strategy director, GfK said: “Despite widely reported headwinds of inflation continuing to outstrip wage rises, and the ongoing household challenge from the cost-of-living crisis, consumers have suddenly shown more optimism about the state of their personal finances and the general economic situation, especially for the coming year.”
The index measuring the forecast for personal finances over the next 12 months has risen by nine points to -18, which is four points lower than this time last year.
Meanwhile the measure for expectations for the general economic situation over the same period is up 11 points to -43, the same as in February 2021.
Looking at the index for major purchase items, this has increased by three points to -37; this is 22 points lower than this month last year.
Staton said it is too early to talk about ‘green shoots of recovery’, although the uptick across all measures should be welcomed.
He added: “The headline consumer confidence score is still severely depressed and the mood as well as the economy remain a long way off pre-lockdown levels, but a little consumer resilience might be what we need to soften any downturn in 2023. However, many challenges remain and this may be nothing more more than a bubble of hope – and bubbles always burst.”
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