Sharp fall in UK consumer confidence, says GfK
UK consumer confidence fell sharply in December from an 18-month high reflecting a decline in expectations for the wider economy.
Figures released by GfK NOP showed that the headline measure dropped to -29 this month from November's 18-month high of -22.
Four of the five measures used to gauge consumer confidence fell in December, with the forecast for personal finances over the next 12 months remaining the same as in November at -7, which is three points higher than this time last year.
The measure for consumers’ expectations for the general economic situation over the next 12 months decreased by 16 points to -31; 10 points higher than December 2011.
The climate for major purchases measure fell one point to -27, four points higher than this time last year, while the ‘now is a good time to save’ index, dropped four points to -20, a fall of eight points from December 2011.
Nick Moon, GfK's managing director of social research, said: “While such a dramatic drop in consumer confidence over the last month might seem like very bad news, it must be seen in the context of a massive eight point rise in November – the seventh highest increase since the Index began in 1974. On its own, this increase suggested a real turning point in consumer confidence as we looked ahead to 2013. But just as with significant improvements like this in the past – in May 2011 for example – the surge disappeared as fast as it arrived.
“Despite last month’s rise, the Index is now only one point higher than it was in October 2012, indicating that consumer sentiment is still fragile despite the fact Christmas is less than a week away.”
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