GfK’s Consumer Confidence Index increased to –10 in May. Four measures increased, including the key indicator for big-ticket purchases such as furniture, the major purchase index, which increased two points to +1 – the same as May 2018.
Joe Staton, client strategy director at GfK, says: “Despite a backdrop of Brexit-related change and complexity, and price rises for most household bills in April, consumers have managed a seasonal spring in their step with a three-point uptick in consumer confidence this month.
"Although the overall index score is still bumping along in negative territory, we’re seeing stronger positives in measures about how consumers view their personal financial situation – a key metric impacting day-to-day spending – coupled with a less negative view of the general financial situation across the UK in the coming year.
"With the Government forecasting an economy showing modest growth, where inflation is under control, unemployment is at multi-decade lows and the employment rate is at a record level, perhaps this sunnier picture is to be expected? But before we see a leap back into the brighter positive numbers last seen in January 2016, consumers will need to be convinced in heart, head and wallet that Brexit’s murkiness has finally come to an end. And there are potentially dark clouds on the horizon with the next EU deadline of October 31st.”