Confidence in economy ‘lowest since 2020’

UK consumer confidence in the economy and future household finances has reached the lowest level since 2020, according to research from Which?.

The organisation’s consumer insight tracker found that only one in 10 UK consumers think the economy will improve over the next year, while 74 per cent think things will get worse.

This gives a net confidence score in the economy of -64, dropping from -19 last month.

Confidence in future household finances also declined significantly, dropping to -40 compared to -21 in February, the lowest figure since the first national lockdown was announced in March 2020.

The study reveals that 54 per cent of UK consumers have had to make an adjustment – like cutting back on essentials or dipping into savings to cover essential spending – in the past month.

Which? says that an estimated 2.1 million households have missed or defaulted on at least one mortgage, rent, loan, credit card or bill in the past month.

“Our research shows how a relentless cost of living crisis is putting huge pressure on household finances – with confidence in the economy at its lowest level since 2020," said Adam French, Which? Consumer Rights Expert. "This is particularly worrying as price hikes and inflation are only predicted to rise further in 2022 – even after the April increases take effect.

“Ahead of the Spring Statement, the government and businesses must urgently take action to support those who could quickly find themselves in serious financial trouble if the economic situation deteriorates further.”

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