UK consumer confidence drops three points in November

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A long-running index measuring consumer confidence dropped by three points in November 2018 to -13, after the government announced its proposed Brexit deal with the EU.

GfK’s Consumer Confidence Index, carried out on behalf of the European Commission, found that the Overall Index Score in November 2018 was -13, with all five measures declining.

During the last 12 months the index measuring changes in personal finances decreased four points to -3, the measure for the general economic situation of the country dropped one point to -29, and the major purchase index decreased seven points in November to -3.

The survey of 2,003 individuals also found that the forecast for personal finances over the next 12 months has decreased one point to +3, while expectations for the General Economic Situation have decreased four points to -32.

GfK client strategy director, Joe Staton, said: “Against a backdrop of the chancellor telling everyone that the Brexit deal on the table will make people worse off, this month we’re recording an across the board fall for all measures with concerns over household finances, the general economy and purchase intentions.

“The measure that fell the most is our major purchase index, with a seven-point plunge that is unhappy news for retailers. The view on the general economy in the coming 12 months fell four points, as did the perception of the past year’s personal finances.

“Overall, we are now back at the -13 level we saw at the end of last year. The next few weeks are highly unlikely to inject any festive cheer, especially if Theresa May’s Brexit deal doesn’t win backing from MPs.

“The denouement to more than two years of bewildering Brexit wheeler-dealing looks like it will be enacted precisely when many consumers would prefer to be thinking of a well-earned Christmas break, filled with family get-togethers, warmth and festivity. Brexit appears to be turning this year’s ‘season of goodwill’ into ‘the season of uncertainty.”

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