Consumer confidence takes on new strength despite Brexit fears

According to new research from GfK, consumer confidence in the UK has remained resolutely stoic amid intensifying uncertainty around Brexit.

The index measuring changes in personal finances during the last 12 months has stayed the same this month at 0; this is also the same as this time last year.

The major purchase index increased three points in February 2019 to +5; this is five points higher than February 2018.

The savings index has increased four points in February to +18; this is six points higher than at this time last year.

Joe Staton, Client Strategy Director at GfK, says: “Despite a slowdown in overall growth and concerns about the impact of Brexit uncertainty on the UK economy, topline consumer confidence is stable again this month.

“Although bumping along in negative territory, the Overall Index Score is not showing any sign of making the dramatic drop seen after the June 2016 Brexit Referendum or in the early days of the last financial downturn.

“While the view on personal finances looking at the year to come is still marginally positive, the continuing depressed sentiment towards the general economic situation might point towards the calm before the storm of post-Brexit headwinds and potential negative economic outcomes.

“Are we on the edge of some kind of economic or livelihood precipice? Consumers are like markets, they respond to certainty and that’s in short supply just now. It is worth bearing in mind that many economic indicators (employment levels, wage growth) remain positive. But it is frankly amazing that confidence is so stoic and stable in a world of sharp political instability and fear of the unknown.”

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