A long-running index measuring consumer confidence increased two points to -12 in September, but consumers still feel ”less than positive” about the state of their personal finances and the general economy.
GfK’s UK Consumer Spending Index for September 2019 revealed that all five measures increased during the month, while the forecast for personal finances over the next 12 months increased two points to +4.
The report, carried out by GfK on behalf of the European Commission, found that the measure for the general economic situation of the country during the last 12 months increased two points to -32, four points lower than September 2018, while expectations for the general economic situation over the next 12 months increased three points to -35.
The major purchase index increased two points in September to +3, three points lower than in September 2018.
GfK client strategy director Joe Staton said: “More mixed signals this month as consumers continue to feel less than positive about the state of their personal finances and the general economy. While all sub measures are higher, they are anaemic in the case of our purchase intentions and how we view our wallets - and the results on the wider economy are still depressed.
“Since the Brexit referendum we have witnessed a long succession of negative overall Index scores with the overall trend downwards. This month, British consumers appear to be treading water during this wait-and-see run-up to October 31.
“Confidence is an important indicator which typically increases as the economy expands and decreases when the economy contracts and so far, consumer confidence is holding up. We certainly have a long way to go to match the record low Index score of -39 witnessed during the early days of the last recession. But will it stay that way? You can almost sense people are keeping their fingers crossed.”