Apr 6, 2020
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Retailer alert: UK consumer confidence dives as lockdown goes on says GfK

Apr 6, 2020

GfK only issued its regular monthly consumer confidence report last week, but on Monday it added that confidence has dived since it took its readings with a new level of -34 by the end of last month. In March 2019, it was -13.

Covid-19 has sent UK consumer confidence into a tailspin

Its interim Covid-19 flash report using data gathered in late March (during which time the UK-wide lockdown began) showed the long-running Consumer Confidence Index falling drastically by 25 points between the first two and last two weeks of March. All measures that made up the Index Score decreased.

Importantly, consumers are gloomy about both the country’s overall economic outlook and their own economic outlook and their major purchase intentions have taken a big step back. The Major Purchase Index fell to a scary -52 at the end of the month from -2 in mid-March and from +1 a year ago. It had been at +6 in February.

Joe Staton, GfK’s Client Strategy Director, said: “Our ‘flash report’ shows a dramatic result with consumer confidence falling off the cliff in the last two weeks of March. The last time we saw such a decline was during the 2008 economic downturn. 

“Our falling confidence in our personal financial situation and the wider economy reflects the new concern for many across the UK. Despite record grocery sales, and recent peaks for purchases of freezers, TVs and home office equipment as people prepared for a long period in the home, the Major Purchase Index [presents] a stark picture for some parts of the retail industry in the short-to-medium term.”

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