Consumer confidence on the up as shoppers adopt a “let’s wait and see” stance over Brexit, says GfK

Confidence among UK consumers improved in August, but remains below pre-Brexit vote levels, according to a survey published today.

Researcher GfK’s Consumer Confidence Barometer (conducted by GfK on behalf of the EU) increased this month by five points to minus 7, with all five measures used to calculate the index showing increases.

“We’re reporting some recovery in the Index this month as consumers settle into the new wait-and-see reality of a post-Brexit, pre-exit UK,” said Joe Staton, head of market dynamics at GfK.

“The uptick in confidence is driven by good news from hard data, the combination of historic low interest rates matched with falling prices and high levels of employment. This can be seen in positive growth across all major measures including both our personal and general economic situation measures for the next 12 months. People are clearly determined to carry on shopping for today rather than saving for tomorrow,”

The forecast for personal finances over the next 12 months increased by five points in August to plus 4, which is three points lower than last year.

GfK’s expectations for the General Economic Situation index over the next 12 months have increased 11 points to minus 22 this month, but this is 25 points lower than in August 2015.

The Major Purchase Index increased nine points this month to plus 7, which is 10 points lower than this time last year.

GfK interviewed 2,000 people during the first half of August for the Barometer.

Last week, a YouGov survey said consumer confidence recorded its highest monthly bounce in August since February 2013, while official data found retail sales increased by 1.4% in July from the previous month.

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