UK Consumer confidence remains at -21 in March

UK consumer confidence remained unchanged in March as three measures increased and two were down.

According to the latest GfK Consumer Confidence Index, overall figures were unchanged at -21 in March 2024. Three measures were up and two were down in comparison to last month’s announcement.

The Major Purchase Index, which includes big ticket items such as furniture, is down two points to -27; this is six points higher than this month last year.

The measure for the general economic situation of the country during the last 12 months is down two points at -45; this is 17 points higher than in March 2023.  

The index measuring changes in personal finances during the last year is up one point at -13; this is 13 points better than March 2023.

The Savings Index has decreased four points to +25 in March; this is four points higher than this time last year.

Joe Staton, Client Strategy Director, GfK, says: “Consumer confidence stalled at minus -21 in March, following the two-point dip in February. The improved Personal Finance measure (next 12 months) at +2 is encouraging because it’s the first positive and the highest score since December 2021.

“This is welcome news given the challenges faced by Britons of fiscal drag, higher costs for fuel, rising council taxes and utilities eroding any increases in wages or other income. But is there a note of worry this month? Look back to last year and it’s clear the improvements in consumer confidence seen most months since January 2023 have vanished. 

“Moreover, this month the Major Purchase Index has dropped two points, the view of the wider economy over the past year is down and the Savings Index has dived four points. Are we temporarily on pause, or are consumers about to press ‘reverse’? In the run-up to the next UK General Election, these are important questions for the future health of the economy.”

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