May 21, 2021
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UK consumer confidence keeps climbing, back to pre-Covid level

May 21, 2021

The bounce in UK consumer confidence continues. The easing of Covid-19 restrictions was the obvious plus behind a six-point rise for May ( to -9), returning to the level last seen before the pandemic hit.

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GfK’s long-running Consumer Confidence Index also showed three of its measures were up in comparison to April, one measure was down and one was flat.

The index measuring changes in personal finances over the last 12 months slipped one point to -4, the same score as in May 2020. However, the forecast for personal finances over the next 12 months held steady at +10, some 19 points higher than this time last year.

The measure for the general economic situation of the country during the last 12 months jumped 10 points at -48, seven points higher than in May 2020.  And expectations for the general economic situation over the coming 12 months improved an even better 15 points to +4, a massive 58 points higher than May 2020.

The Major Purchase Index increased by five points to -7 in May, some 40 points higher than it was this month last year. Finally, the Savings Index for May is the same as last month (at +22), continuing to stay eight points higher than this time last year.

Joe Staton, Client Strategy director GfK, said: “The financial mood of the nation has bounced back to its pre-lockdown figure… meaning confidence has made up all the ground lost to Covid-19. 

"UK consumer confidence is being driven by continued optimism for our future personal finances and for the wider UK economy in the next 12 months. That ‘economy next year’ measure has recorded a 15-point jump this month and since January has leapt from -44 to + 4. 

"These findings reflect April’s ‘feelgood’ [partial] reopening… combined with continuing vaccination success, all this before the possibility of green-list vacation opportunities in May”. 

He added: “In addition, we’re seeing a healthy five-point uptick in the major purchase index, with more consumers seizing the opportunity to splash the ‘accidental savings’ that some have collected. Now really is a good time to buy. Growing confidence is fuelling the economy and only a reversal to lockdown can dampen this solid momentum”. 

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