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Economy

Consumer confidence remains negative in April

Consumer confidence remained at its level of -13 in April according to GfK’s Consumer Confidence Index. Two measures increased and three saw a decrease during the month.

The index measuring changes in personal finances during the last 12 months has decreased this month to -1; this is the same as April last year. The forecast for personal finances over the next 12 months decreased by two points to zero this month; four points lower than the same month last year.

The measure for the general economic situation of the country during the last 12 months has increased by three points this month; one point lower than April 2018. Expectations for the general economic situation over the next 12 months have increased two points to -34; 10 points lower than April 2018.

The major purchase index decreased two points in April 2019 to -1; four points lower while the savings index decreased eight points in April to +12; two points higher than at this time last year.

Joe Staton, client strategy director at GfK, said: “We have reported a -13 headline for the past three months and it appears it’s a case of ‘Keep Calm’ when it comes to how confident consumers are feeling right now.

“Despite political carry-on in the Westminster bubble with the clock ticking on Britain’s eventual departure from the EU, consumers are holding firm and remain unshaken by the daily headlines of turmoil and intrigue, although we remain in negative territory. This month we are reporting a dip in the measures for our personal financial situation looking back a year and ahead to the coming year but this is balanced by a small increase in our perspective on the state of the UK economy.”

He added: “The further two-point drop in our measure on ‘major purchases’ suggests more challenges in the near future, at least for the retail sector. The biggest change is a sudden drop in the motivation to save money – this is down by eight points – and represents the largest monthly drop in our savings measure since after the Brexit referendum in June 2016.”

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