Consumers show renewed resilience as confidence improves

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

According to the latest GfK Consumer Confidence Index, overall figures saw an increase by five points to -25 in August 2023.

The Major Purchase Index, which includes big ticket items such as furniture, is up eight points to -24; this is 14 points higher than this month last year.

The measure for the general economic situation of the country during the last 12 months is up six points at -52; this is 16 points higher than in August 2022.  

The index measuring changes in personal finances during the last year is up five points at -15; this is 10 points better than August 2022. 

The Savings Index is up one point to +27; this is nine points higher than this time last year.

Joe Staton, Client Strategy Director GfK, says: “Against a backdrop of falling core inflation, higher interest rates and rising average weekly earnings, the Consumer Confidence Index has regained momentum this month with a welcome five-point improvement.

“Although the headline figure remains strongly negative at -25, hopes for our personal financial situation for the coming year are heading back towards positive territory, a metric that is key to indicating the future financial position of households.

“This renewed optimism can also be seen in the similar turnaround for our view on the general economic outlook for the next 12 months, and the eight-point advance in major purchase intentions is potentially better news for retailers as we move into autumn.

“However, while the financial pulse of the nation is still weak, these signs of optimism are welcome during this challenging time for consumers across the UK.” 

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