Consumer Confidence Levels Unchanged In March

GfK’s Consumer Confidence Index remained unchanged at -6 in March, with consumers remaining concerned about their personal finances and the general economic outlook for the UK.

The forecast for personal finances over the next 12 months remained stable +3, although this is still six points lower than March 2016. Meanwhile, with talks to exit the EU set to begin, consumers expectations for the general economic situation over the next 12 months stayed at -20 in March, eight points lower than March 2016.

However, there was some good news for retailers as the major purchase index rose by one point to +6, although this is still five points lower than this time last year.

Joe Staton, Head of Market Dynamics at GfK, commented: “No real upsets this month as the Barometer continues to bump along in negative territory. Consumers remain cagey about the state of their personal finances and the general economic picture for the UK, especially as wage growth fails to keep pace with the rising costs of living. Since the Brexit referendum, household spending has been a big driver of growth, so any slump will dent future economic prospects. However, if we carry on shopping, as seen by the uptick in the Major Purchase Index, then forecasts for a post-Trigger/pre-Brexit slowdown could be proved wrong.”