GfK’s long-running Consumer Confidence Index slipped by one point to -10 in October, yet the measure for Personal Financial Situation over the last 12 months and the Major Purchase Index increased.
Joe Staton, head of market dynamics at GfK, says: “It’s no surprise that the overall index score continues to bump along in negative territory this month. As concerns about the wider economic prospects for the UK economy dampen our outlook, consumers are showing no real get up and go.
"The tiny shift up a point in how we view our personal finances over the past year is counter-intuitive given rising living costs, an imminent interest rate rise, and the reality that we earn less in real terms in 2017 than in early 2006. Our enthusiasm for spending, as witnessed by the uptick in the Major Purchase Index, is more worrying than reassuring.
"Surging credit card use is fueling spending at the expense of our appetite for saving, which is growing at the slowest rate since the start of the 2008/09 financial crisis. We are now entering the crucial Christmas trading season and it will be a testing time for retailers and consumers alike. Will consumers carry on shopping or start to cut back in the face of mounting pressure on our pockets?”