// Consumer confidence at lowest point since records began in 1974
// Findings point to “sense of capitulation” amid financial events beyond control
Acute concerns in the face of soaring cost-of-living and bleak economic prospects saw GfK’s Consumer Confidence Index decrease three points in August to -44.
All five measures were down in comparison to the 22 July announcement by GfK.
“The Overall Index Score dropped three points in August to -44, the lowest since records began in 1974,” said Joe Staton, client strategy director, GfK. “All measures fell, reflecting acute concerns as the cost-of-living soars. A sense of exasperation about the UK’s economy is the biggest driver of these findings.”
Consumer confidence indicators across the board in recent months have underlined the fragile economic situation.
Among the economic indicators, the index measuring changes in personal finances over the last 12 months fell two points to -25, which is 25 points worse than August 2021. The forecast for personal finances over the next 12 months has decreased five points to -31, 42 points lower than this time last year.
The measure for the general economic situation of the country during the last 12 months is down two points at -68, 26 points lower than in August 2021, while expectations for the general economic situation over the coming 12 months have deteriorated with a three-point drop to -60, down 54 points.
“Our sub-measure on the general economy over the past year has decreased month-on-month since December 2021 – that’s eight months in a row,” said Staton. “A similar consistent sharp decline since December 2021 is evident in how consumers see the economy a year ahead and this month’s score of -60 sets a new record.”
He added: “These findings point to a sense of capitulation, of financial events moving far beyond the control of ordinary people. With headline after headline revealing record inflation eroding household buying power, the strain on the personal finances of many in the UK is alarming. Just making ends meet has become a nightmare and the crisis of confidence will only worsen with the darkening days of autumn and the colder months of winter.”