GfK’s Consumer Confidence Index decreased by one point in October to -10. Three measures decreased, and two stayed the same.

The Major Purchase Index, which reflects consumers' desire to buy big-ticket items, decreased two points to +4 – one point higher YoY.  

Joe Staton, client strategy director at GfK, says: “The recent claims about the imminent end of austerity, and the good news of lower retail price inflation and accelerating wages growth would normally be sufficient to boost consumer sentiment.

"But the core index slipped again this month. The prospect of a no-deal/hard-deal Brexit must surely be weighing heavily on people’s minds, injecting a mood of despondency as to how people view their future personal finances and the longer-term economic outlook for the UK.

"We also appear to be losing confidence that now is ‘the right time’ to make major purchases. This will concern retailers in the run-up to Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the key Christmas trading period. Consumers behave like financial markets – when confidence is lacking, markets stutter and tumble. When confidence comes back, we are more than willing to spend, borrow or save. However, with no immediate prospect of any feelgood news impacting our hearts, minds and wallets, the index is set for further declines. It looks like the UK Government will need to administer an exceptionally strong tonic to the nation to settle the obvious Brexit anxieties.”