Consumer confidence falls in September as Brexit nears
New figures have shown that consumer confidence has fallen in September as people feel more uncertain about the economy in the run-up to Brexit.
GfK’s long-running Consumer Confidence Index has decreased by two points to -9 in the period.
Joe Staton, client strategy director at GfK, said: “There are fewer than 200 days until Brexit arrangements in some shape or fashion take effect. The clock is ticking down and in September the consumer mood dropped a couple of notches. When respondents talk about their personal finances, the scores are still positive. But for the general economy, they can only reflect on the obvious uncertainty surrounding Brexit. That poor view of the wider economy is keeping the headline score negative – the last positive headline was the +4 in January 2016.”
GfK’s index measuring the forecast for people’s personal finances over the next 12 months decreased by three points to 5 in the period while the measure for expectations for the general economic situation over the same period fell by one point to -27; this is three points lower than a year ago.
Meanwhile, the major purchase index held steady at 6 this month.
Staton said the poor view of the wider economy is keeping the headline score negative. The last positive headline was 4 in January 2016.
He added: “The danger is that consumers might capitulate on how they feel about their personal finances. If that happens, we’ll see very sharp drops indeed in the overall index score in the months up to March 2019. Will the coming six months see the consumer mood turn significantly more fragile? Or do consumers think Brexit will ultimately be positive?”
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