Consumer Confidence Index drops to -3

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The long-running Consumer Confidence Index from market and consumer data specialist GfK has decreased by two points this month to -3. Two of the measures in the Index saw increases and three of the measures saw decreases in October.

The measure for the General Economic Situation of the country has decreased by three points this month to -19, 14 points lower than October 2015. However, the Major Purchase Index has increased five points this month to +14; which is seven points higher than this time last year.

Joe Staton, head of market dynamics at GfK, commented: “Declining optimism about economic prospects for the wider UK economy has depressed the consumer mood this month. Despite the continuing feel-good factor arising from persistent low interest and inflation rates, sterling’s sharp decline is arguably stoking fears that price rises will hit UK living standards hard next year.

“However, views on the state of our personal financial situation for the past year and next continue to remain positive (when comparing with 2015 levels), underlining that we feel more optimistic about situations we can control. This month also continues the upward trend on spending intentions with high levels of agreement in the Major Purchase Index. This shows that many consumers agree now is the right time for people to spend. So, with Black Friday approaching and Christmas trading already underway, will the remainder of 2016 see halcyon days for retailing? Are we gearing up to shop now and pay later amid concerns over rising high street prices?”