UK economy putting a ‘muzzle on consumer confidence’

Positive scores for personal finance and negative scores for the wider economy offer “no clue” as to what consumers are really thinking.

A stronger jobs market, rising real incomes, low interest rates and low levels of headline inflation helped UK consumers feel a little bit more upbeat about the UK economy in May, according to GfK’s Consumer Confidence Index, with confidence rising two points to -7.

However, the figures reveal an odd mismatch of positive scores for personal finance contrasting with very negative scores for how Brits see the wider economy – which have not entered positive territory for almost two and a half years.

Joe Staton, client strategy director at GfK, tells Marketing Week May’s figures offer no clues to which way consumers are heading.

“We are less inclined than last month to spend; but we are also less inclined than last month to save. What are consumers really thinking?” he asks.

“Negative scores on the economy are a muzzle on consumer confidence. People need to feel fired up by economic prospects before the Overall Index Score can deliver any excitement.”

The index measuring changes in personal finances over the past 12 months has increased two points in May to +1 (one point lower than this time last year), while the forecast for personal finances over the next 12 months has increased four points to +8 this month (four points higher than May 2017).

Meanwhile, the measure for the general economic situation of the country over the past 12 months has increased five points to -24 (four points lower than May 2017), while expectations for the next 12 months have increased three points to -21 (the same level as this time last year).

Latest from Marketing Week

NOT REGISTERED? IT'S FREE, QUICK AND EASY!

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

THE BEST CONTENT

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.

THE BIGGEST ISSUES

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.

PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

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 customerservices@marketingweek.com

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