Consumer confidence remains low in May as Brexit question clouds outlook
UK consumer confidence remains low despite an uplift of two points in May.
GfK’s long-running Consumer Confidence Index shows that the main headline index has risen to -1 this month.
Joe Staton, head of market dynamics at GfK, said: “Despite May’s brave attempt at a recovery with the overall Consumer Confidence Index rising two points from April, we remain in the gloomy world of negative territory this month at -1.
"Optimists will point to the fact our views on personal finances and our willingness to make major purchases are all up on last year. Perhaps this shows consumers are more confident over areas where they have more direct control. But pessimists will emphasise that the music is different when it comes to the general economic situation.
“Despite the tiny uptick this month, our confidence in economic matters, whether we look back or ahead 12 months, remains way below last year. Is it because the Brexit gremlins are hard at work? Almost certainly yes. How will that all change when the EU referendum has taken place on June 23rd? We all wish we knew the answer to that question.”
While the index relating to the forecast for personal finances over the next 12 months has remained at 7 this month, the index measuring expectations for the general economic situation over the next 12 months has risen by one point to -13. This is 13 points lower than in May 2015.
Meanwhile, the climate for major purchase index has increased by four points this month to 9. This is seven points higher than this time last year.
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