Consumers ready to make big purchases despite confidence knock

Consumers are ready to make big purchases despite confidence levels taking a hit this month, according to figures from GfK.


While the researcher’s top consumer index figure slipped to -1 in September, from +1 in August, GfK says there has been a “period of stability over the past five months” that has seen it fluctuate by only two points. This means that although most customers aren’t feeling better off, they are increasingly confident in making large purchases.

The GfK report found that the score for whether it is the “right time to make a major purchase” increased to its highest level for six months in September to 0, from -1 in August. The figure is also 14 points higher than it was this time last year.

“Whilst consumers are not feeling any better off it overall, what can be seen as good news for retailers is the measure for ‘right time for major purchases’ which has shown increases recently and is now the highest it’s been since February 2014,” says Nick Moon, managing director of social research at GfK.

Propensity to make large purchase was the only one of the five major consumer confidence indicators to see an increase in September, as the headline index figure fell from the nine-year high it reached in August.

Signals including household finances and economic mood all fell compared to the previous month, with the biggest drops seen in household expectations over the next 12 months. This despite the fact that GDP is on the rise and that the economy is expected to see 3.5 per cent growth over the next year, the best rate for almost 10 years.

Overall, consumer confidence is up compared to a year ago when the score was down at -10.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here