Mini Boris-bounce in consumer confidence, but year ahead remains shaky – report

Consumers enjoyed a small “Boris-bounce” following the Conservatives’ general election victory last month, according to a long-running survey.

GfK’s Consumer Confidence Index rose two points to minus nine in January, but it means the data has remained in negative territory for the past four years.

The two-point rise was also slower than the three-point rise between November and December, GfK added.

Joe Staton, client strategy director at GfK, said: “The first month of 2020 has given us a mini Boris bounce, with a two-point increase. 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.”

The measure for the personal financial situation over the last 12 months was at one – compared with minus three in December. Looking ahead for the next year, the index recorded a positive six points, up three points on last month.

Mr Staton also pointed out this was due to the rise in jobs and tentatively improving housing market, alongside low inflation and interest rates.

But shoppers are still holding off making big ticket purchases, such as washing machines, fridges and sofas, waiting for further certainty.

He added the overall index is expected to return to positive territory later this year, with expectations for the general economic situation over the next 12 months moving from minus 27 to minus 24. In January 2019 it was as high as minus 39.