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Consumer confidence drops further in April

UK consumer confidence has dropped even further in the month of April, according to market research institute GFK.

The institute’s Consumer Confidence Index dropped by two points to -9 in April, the 28th consecutive month without an overall positive index score.

Four out of the five index measures decreased, with the index measuring changes in personal finances having fallen by four points to -1, two points lower than this time last year.

The measure for the general economic situation of the country decreased three points to -29; this is six points lower than April 2017. The index in relation to major purchases managed to increase by one point to +3 although this is four points lower than April 2017.

Additionally the savings index has decreased three points to +10 in April however this is nine points higher than this time last year.

Joe Staton, client strategy director at GFK, said: “We now have 28 consecutive months without a positive Overall Index Score. The last positive was in January 2016. Hope springs eternal for better numbers for the UK Consumer Confidence Index but the continued uncertain economic forecast means that the sun is not yet shining brightly for UK consumers.

“Despite the headline news proclaiming that UK wages rose faster than inflation, no imminent interest rate rise on the horizon, and record high levels of employment, the Index continues to bump along stubbornly in negative territory with a two-point slide to -9 this April.

“As consumers, we need to see clear evidence with our own eyes – in our bank balances and pay packets – that balmier economic climes have returned. Yet our view of the general economic situation for the UK remains low.

“More worryingly, there is a steep decline this month in the numbers concerning our personal financial situation – for both the past 12 months and the year ahead. This is the measure relating to security in our day-to-day finances and propensity to shop, spend and plan for their future. But there’s little evidence of optimism in that respect. Consumer confidence is stuck in the doldrums.”

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