UK consumer confidence down in February

Consumer confidence was down in February after improvement in the previous month, according to new figures.

Data from GfK’s monthly UK Consumer Confidence Barometer showed that confidence has fallen two points to -21 this month, dropping from -19 in January.

However, consumer optimism about their personal financial situation over the next 12 months remained the same.

While this registered again at zero, the figure represents a significant improvement on the -18 score recorded in February last year.

January 2024 marks 50 years of the monthly Barometer, a study which provides insight into how UK consumers feel about their personal finances and the wider economy, as well as the outlook for the next 12 months.

“This metric is key to understanding the financial mood of the nation because confident householders are more likely to spend despite the cost-of-living crisis,” said Joe Staton, client strategy director for GfK. “Looking forward, it will be interesting to see what the forthcoming Budget delivers in terms of taxation and inflation."

Staton added that these issues are important to everyone, particularly during an election year, where recent performance of the economy will "play a crucial role in determining results at the ballot box".

He said that while all its measures - including major purchases, general economic situation, personal financial situation, and overall index - were better than a year ago, consumer confidence alone will not "carry us into a brighter economic future".

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