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High Street

December consumer confidence ends 2018 on five-year low

GfK’s long-running Consumer Confidence Index decreased by one point in December 2018 to -14.

The measure for the general economic situation of the country during the last 12 months also dropped by two points to -31 this month, the same level as December 2017, and expectations for the next 12 months have decreased six points to -38, 10 points lower than December 2017.

The group said the steep drop for the outlook on the general economy in the coming year is the “most telling data point this month”, with consumers clearly “casting a vote of no-confidence in our immediate economic future”.

Joe Staton, client strategy director at GfK, said UK consumers are ending 2018 on a “pessimistic note” with “Christmas cheer in short supply”. He added: “The uptick in the ‘major purchases’ measure also might be no more than a last festive hurrah for retailers, the only sliver of comfort and joy amidst the gloom.

“In the face of ever-rising costs, and the threat of higher inflation combined with uncertainty around the outcome of the Brexit negotiations, it’s no surprise that consumers are in a chilly mood of despondency and putting on a glum face when they look at the prospects for 2019.”

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