UK consumer confidence sinks - again

UK retailers, look away now. Market research from GfK NOP claims that consumer confidence has plumetted to their lowest point since spring 2009. A two point drop is significant. In the 37 years the index has been running it has only been lower on two occasions – a single month in 1990, and eight months during the 2008-2009 recession, says GfK NOP.

Chilly out there

"Optimism has not been lifted by pre-Christmas spending and it is hard to see grounds for a recovery in confidence in the near future," says GfK NOP managing director Nick Moon. "The 8% drop in the score for the general economic situation over the next 12 months is significant and will make chilling reading for the Government and British businesses."

The overall index score this month have sunk two points to -33. This is twelve points lower than this time last year, say the researchers. "Three of the measures saw decreases this month, with two measures staying at the same level as November 2011. The annual moving average stays the same at -28."

New car - or new pullover?

Major purchases - see box below - are certainly suffering, falling four points to -31. A huge twenty four points lower than this time last year. The 'now is a good time to save' Index, has increased one point to -12 - two points lower than December '10 - but given the dismal savings rates and confidence rattles from stock markets, that uptick must be qualified.

*Research carried out by GfK NOP on behalf of the European Commission

Though the Christmas shopping crowds are out in force, bear in mind many will be reining back, or simply being more careful on what they buy. Let us know what you're doing.
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