Consumers show continued resilience as confidence improves

UK consumer confidence rose in September as all measures saw an improvement, including big-ticket items.

According to the latest GfK Consumer Confidence Index, overall figures saw an increase by four points to -21 in September 2023.

The Major Purchase Index, which includes big ticket items such as furniture, is up four points to -20; this is 18 points higher than this month last year.

The measure for the general economic situation of the country during the last 12 months is up five points at -47; this is 25 points higher than in September 2022. 

The index measuring changes in personal finances during the last year is up two points at -13; this is 15 points better than September 2022.

The Savings Index is unchanged at +27; this is 16 points higher than this time last year.

Joe Staton, Client Strategy Director GfK, says: “Against the backdrop of falling inflation figures, growth in wages and high interest rates, UK consumer confidence rose this month to -21, the best recorded showing since January 2022. The view on our personal financial situation for the past year and the next is registering marginal but welcome growth, while expectations for the UK’s wider economy in the coming year show a more robust six-point increase.

“And with less than 100 shopping days to Christmas, the four-point boost to the major purchase measure might offer some hope to retailers, who know all too well that many people face financial pressure in the run-up to this year’s festive season.

“While this month’s improved headline score is good news, it’s important to note many households are still struggling with the cost-of-living crisis and that economic conditions are tough. The reality is that consumer confidence remains suppressed, and the financial mood of the nation is still negative.”

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