Consumer financial confidence yet to receive ‘jolt in the arm’, index finds


Households’ confidence in their personal finances over the next 12 months and also in making major purchases deteriorated in January, according to an index.

Perceptions about the general economic situation, both over the past year and the coming 12 months, also declined compared with December 2020, according to market research company GfK (Growth from Knowledge).

By contrast, people appeared slightly less downbeat in January compared with December, when asked how their household’s financial situation had changed in the past 12 months.

While the overall score was positive, at two, when people were asked to give a forecast for how their household’s finances would change in the coming 12 months, it was still down from a score of three in December.

The overall index score declined two points to minus 28 in January 2021, from minus 26 in December 2020, signalling a further decline in consumer confidence.

Joe Staton, GfK’s client strategy director said: “Despite the widespread anticipation of a ‘return to normal’ with the ramp-up of the vaccination programme, it is too early to deliver a jolt in the arm to UK consumer confidence.

“Our view of the general economic situation still makes for grim reading, especially expectations for the coming year, which shows a nine-point drop.

“This continues to suppress the overall index, which is further dampened by a weak major purchase score, as reflected in retail sales figures across the country.”

More than 2,000 people were surveyed between January 4 and 13.