Consumer confidence up two points in May
Consumer confidence edged up in May as people felt more confident about their personal finances but were downbeat about making major purchases.
Figures from GfK’s long running Consumer Confidence Index show that the index rose by two points in the month to -7.
Joe Staton, client strategy director at GfK, said: “UK consumers are feeling more upbeat this month with a two-point rise in the overall index score. The scores for personal finances (both for the past year and next year) are positive. However, consumers remain resolutely downbeat about the general state of the economy. These negative economic scores are depressing the overall index and preventing it from breaking out into positive territory.”
GfK’s measure for the forecast for personal finances over the next 12 months increased by four points to 8 this month while the measure for expectations for the general economic situation over the same period rose by three points to -21.
However, the major purchase index decreased by two points to 1 which was eight points lower than in May 2017.
Staton added: “There’s little motivation to spend as seen by a two-point drop in the major purchase index. With UK retail sales falling at their sharpest rate since the mid-90s, tough trading conditions for Britain's hard-pressed retail sector continue to take their toll. Shoppers are still not showing signs of a willingness to splash-the-cash. Will this self-imposed austerity remain the hallmark of pre-Brexit Britain in the run-up to March 2019 and beyond?”
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