Consumer confidence improves during December

Consumer confidence improved two points during December to -22 as sentiment improved ahead of Christmas.

All five measures were up in comparison to last month’s announcement. The index measuring changes in personal finances during the last year is up two points at -14; this is 14 points better than December 2022.

The forecast for personal finances over the next 12 months also increased one point to -2, which is 27 points higher than this time last year.

Meanwhile, the measure for the general economic situation of the country during the last 12 months is up five points at -44; this is 22 points higher than in December 2022. Expectations for the general economic situation over the next year also increased by one point to -25; this is 28 points better than December 2022.

Finally, the Major Purchase Index is up one point to -23 some 11 points higher than this month last year, with the savings Index also up two points at +27; this is seven points higher than this time last year.

Joe Staton, Client Strategy Director GfK, said: “Against the backdrop of flatlining economic growth, interest rates at a 15-year high, and price rises potentially eroding disposable income for years to come, the Consumer Confidence Index shows a modest improvement this month with gains across all key measures.

“Although the headline figure of -22 means the nation’s confidence is still firmly in negative territory, optimism for our personal finances for the next 12 months shows a notable recovery from the depressed -29 reported this time last year. Recovery in this number is important as it best reflects household financial optimism and control over personal budgets.”

He added: “Despite the severe cost-of-living crisis still impacting most households, this slow but persistent movement towards positive territory for the personal finance measure looking ahead is an encouraging sign for the year to come.”

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