Coronavirus

Consumer confidence slips further amid UK lockdown

GfK’s long-running Consumer Confidence Index has decreased by two points over the past two weeks.

In the market research firm’s third Covid-19 flash report, it found that the measure for the general economic situation of the country dropped five points to -60 between 20 and 26 May.

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Additionally, the outlook for the general economic situation also decreased three points to -57 points, which is 29 points lower compared with the same period last year.

Despite this, the major purchase index increased six points to -41 during the period.

Joe Staton, GfK’s client strategy director, said: “GfK’s third Covid-19 flash report records drops across key measures to -36, just three points shy of the historic low of -39 in July 2008.

“Against a backdrop of falling house prices, soaring jobless claims, and with no sign of a rapid V-shaped bounce-back on the cards, consumers remain pessimistic about the state of their finances and the wider economic picture for the year to come.”

He added: “The only bright spark in the numbers is for the Major Purchase Index with a six-point fillip, pointing to latent demand among shoppers across the UK despite most outlets remaining shuttered.

“As the lockdown eases, it will be interesting to see just how the consumer appetite for spending returns in a world of socially-distanced shopping and the seismic shift to online retailing – alongside worries of a fresh spike in Covid-19 cases as relaxations increase.”

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