Consumer confidence 'dented' amid economic uncertainty, report says


Consumer "depression" about the UK's general economic situation has sent confidence tumbling, according to a report.

Mixed messages about a post-Brexit world and the eurozone crisis have sent the GfK Consumer Confidence Index dropping into negative territory for the first time in 15 months.

The index dropped three points in April to minus 3, while all measures used to calculate the confidence saw decreases this month.

The measure for the general economic situation of the country during the last 12 months has decreased by four points this month to minus 14, or 17 points lower than this time last year.

Expectations for the coming year have decreased by two points to minus 14 this month, a drop of 20 points in 12 months.

Consumers feel more positive about their personal finances than they did in April last year, but the forecast for the next year has decreased by two points to a reading of 7.

Joe Staton, head of market dynamics at GfK, which carried out the study on behalf of the European Commission, said the biggest driver behind the fall in confidence was depression about the economic situation over the next year.

He said: "Mixed messages about a post-Brexit world and the on-going eurozone crisis are casting a cloud over our economy.

"The biggest dent to confidence comes from consumers' depression about the general economic situation in the UK for the next year, dropping 20 points in 12 months.

"Against this backdrop, even faith in our personal economic fortunes has taken a battering contributing to the overall fall in the numbers.

"Trends in confidence show our degree of optimism about the state of the economy and this indicator will make for interesting reading between now and the EU referendum on June 23."