Consumer confidence wanes in face of pre-Brexit nerves – survey

Consumer confidence has fallen amid a sudden drop in expectations for personal finances and the general economy over the next 12 months, a survey suggests.

Overall confidence fell three points to minus 14 in August “in the face of pre-Brexit nerves”, according to GfK’s long-running Consumer Confidence Index.

All five measures for the index saw decreases, including a six point drop in expectations for the general economic situation over the next 12 months to minus 38 – 12 points lower than this time last year.

Source: GfK
Source: GfK

August’s significant five point drop in confidence in personal finances to positive two follow an encouraging jump for the measure last month and take the score to six points lower than a year ago.

The major purchase index, an indicator of confidence in buying big ticket items, decreased three points to positive one, five points lower than last year.

Source: GfK
Source: GfK

Joe Staton, client strategy director at GfK, said: “Until Brexit leaves the front pages – whenever that will be – consumers can be forgiven for feeling nervous not just about the wider economy but also about their financial situation.

“If there is a continuation of that dip in our feelings about our future wallets, we’d quickly see a headline score crash to a level that approaches the worrying figures seen in the worst days of the 2008/2009 financial crisis.

“We are not there yet, and we may not necessarily get there, but it’s a trend we need to watch carefully.”

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