GfK’s Consumer Confidence Index increased two points to –9 for January. Four measures increased, but the Major Purchase Index, which monitors willingness to spend on big-ticket items such as furniture, decreased two points +1 (one point lower YoY).
Joe Staton, client strategy director at GfK, says: “The first month of 2020 has given us a mini Boris-bounce with a two-point increase in our consumer confidence headline score. While January marks four years of the index failing to penetrate positive territory, we now have two consecutive months of improvement. This is good news. The latest measures concerning our personal financial situation for the last and next 12 months are encouragingly healthy and positive, as is the improvement in our view of the wider economic picture for the UK. This is linked to the uptick in the jobs and housing markets, coupled with low headline inflation and interest rates.
"The Major Purchase Index is the only measure to decline this month, reflecting January’s seasonal post-Christmas empty-wallet feeling, and further impacting the longer-term contraction and sluggishness experienced across the retail sector. However, if current trends continue, we’d expect a return to positive headline scores soon. Are we are finally seeing an end to the UK’s jittery consumer mood?”