Consumer confidence flatlines in November
GfK’s long-running Consumer Confidence Index was unchanged at -14 for November. One measure increased, one stayed the same, and three measures decreased – including the major purchase index, which fell by one point to 0 (up three points YoY).
It has been nearly four years since consumer confidence was in positive territory.
Joe Staton, client strategy director at GfK, says: “In the face of Brexit and election uncertainty, consumers are clearly in a wait-and-see mode. The score for the general economy over the coming year has ticked up three points, and this is possibly an indication that some consumers believe the imminent general election might clear the Brexit deadlock, even though this sub-measure is still in deeply negative territory at -34.
“The general election is potentially an opportunity to move us out of the doldrums – but for this to happen there must be a clear result. A hung parliament could be very damaging for consumer confidence and would surely deepen the obvious malaise that we see month after month.
“We have not seen a positive headline score since January 2016 – that’s nearly four years ago. Uncertainty is nobody’s friend. So, while many issues are under the spotlight in this election, political parties will need to satisfy voters that they will be effective for the wider economy and that, as a consequence, people will be better off next year and beyond. Consumers need to be convinced they will be able to balance their personal accounts beyond ‘just about managing’. Fantasy economics alone will not guarantee votes.”