GfK’s Consumer Confidence Index dropped by two points in September 2018 to -9. Four measures went down, but the Major Purchase Index, which indicates consumers' willingness to buy big-ticket items such as furniture, stayed the same, at +6 – five points higher than in August 2017.
Joe Staton, client strategy director at GfK, says: “There are fewer than 200 days until Brexit arrangements in some shape or fashion take effect. The clock is ticking down and in September the consumer mood dropped a couple of notches.
"When respondents talk about their personal finances, the scores are still positive. But for the general economy, they can only reflect on the obvious uncertainty surrounding Brexit. That poor view of the wider economy is keeping the headline score negative – the last positive headline was the +4 in January 2016. The danger is that consumers might capitulate on how they feel about their personal finances. If that happens, we’ll see very sharp drops indeed in the Overall Index Score in the months up to March 2019.
"Will the coming six months see the consumer mood turn significantly more fragile? Or do consumers think Brexit will ultimately be positive?”