Consumer confidence up two points in March

UK consumer confidence rose by two points in March as three measures increased, including big-ticket items.

According to the latest GfK Consumer Confidence Index, overall figures saw an increase by two points to -36 in March 2023.

The Major Purchase Index, which includes big ticket items such as furniture, is up four points to -33; this is nine points lower than this month last year.

The measure for the general economic situation of the country during the last 12 months is up three points at -62; this is 11 points lower than in March 2022.

The index measuring changes in personal finances during the last 12 months was the same at -26; this is 13 points worse than March 2022.

The Savings Index is up two points this month at +21; this is three points higher than this time last year.

Joe Staton, Client Strategy Director GfK, says: “A small improvement in the Overall Index Score this month masks continuing concerns among consumers about their personal financial situation. This measure best reflects the financial pulse of the nation and it remains weak, with the figure for the coming year down three to -21 and an unchanged score for the past 12 months of -26.

“Forecasts that headline inflation will fall this year have proved premature, given Wednesday’s announcement of an unexpected increase. Wages are not keeping up with rising prices and the cost-of-living crisis remains a stark reality for most.

“The recent Budget will bring relief to some sections of the population, but for now many people are simply looking to survive day-by-day. Just having enough money to live right and pay the bills remains the number one concern for consumers across the UK.”

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