GfK’s Consumer Confidence Index decreased two points to -40 in May, the lowest score since records began in 1974.

Four measures were down in comparison to the April 22nd announcement – including The Major Purchase Index, which decreased three points to -35 in May, down 28 points YoY – and one was up.

Joe Staton, client strategy director, GfK, says: “The GfK consumer confidence barometer recorded a headline score of -40 in May, the worst since our records began in 1974. This comes as UK unemployment hits a 50-year low, with vacancies outnumbering job seekers for the first time, and inflation peaking at a 40-year high driven by soaring food and fuel bills.

"May’s result is one point lower than the previous record set in July 2008, when the headline score plunged to -39. This means consumer confidence is now weaker than in the darkest days of the global banking crisis, the impact of Brexit on the economy, or the Covid shutdown.

"Consumer pessimism is most evident in depressed sub-measures on the general economy, at -63 for the past year and -56 for the coming year. The Major Purchase Index has decreased for each of the past six months and is now at -35, reflecting the latest dismal set of retail sales figures. Even the Bank of England is pessimistic, with governor Andrew Bailey this week offering no hope of tackling inflation. The outlook for consumer confidence is gloomy, and nothing on the economic horizon shows a reason for optimism any time soon.”