The first study gauging British consumer confidence immediately after Article 50 was triggered reveals confidence among those who support Brexit has fallen.
The latest Nielsen Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions revealed that although British consumer confidence, overall, remained stable at 102, the level among ‘Leavers’ dropped from 109 in January to 106 in early April, whilst ‘Remainer’ confidence increased one point to 97.
A score over 100 indicates degrees of optimism, below 100, degrees of pessimism.
It also reveals that “strong support” for Brexit among Leavers has steadily declined, from 74% in December to 68% in January to 63% after Article 50 was triggered. Furthermore, 3% of Leave supporters now oppose the Brexit. However, 10% of those who originally supported Remain have now shifted their support to Leave.
“Overall, consumer confidence remains stable, but we are seeing a wobble among Leave voters,” said Steve Smith, Managing Director, Nielsen UK and Ireland. “Although immigration concerns have dropped, Leavers are starting to worry more about everyday matters, particularly rising utility bills and food prices.”
After reaching a 10-year high in the second half of 2016, the proportion of consumers feeling now is a good time to buy things they want/need dropped 4% to 49%. Furthermore, the proportion engaging in cost-cutting activities increased 2% to 51%, its highest level for 18 months.
From a list of 18 main types of goods, consumers, overall, expect price rises in every single one. Imported groceries are seen as the most likely to have price rises (cited by 77%), followed by fuel prices (73%), domestic groceries and transport (both 68%).
“Inflation is creeping in and as it could be as high as 3% by July, consumers believe this will translate to price rises across the board,” concluded Smith. “However, overall consumer confidence remains stable and we know that brands and retailers are working closely together on solutions to minimise any price impact on shoppers.”