GfK UK consumer confidence rises again in March
UK consumer confidence rose for a second straight month in March following a dark period of consecutive declines going back to last autumn.
Admittedly, it’s still in negative territory though. GfK’s long-running Consumer Confidence Index increased two points this month to -36 following a seven points rise in February. But before we bring out the flags, the data company warned the latest figure “masks continuing concerns among consumers about their personal financial situation”.
Overall, its March index showed three measures were up, one was unchanged and one was down in comparison to last month’s announcement.
The index measuring changes in personal finances, which is regarded as the best measure for gauging the financial pulse of the nation, remained static during the last 12 months, with the reading of -26 still 13 points worse than March 2022.
The forecast for personal finances over the next 12 months fell three points to -21, three points lower than this time last year.
The measure for the general economic situation of the country during the last 12 months was up three points at -62, and 11 points lower than in March 2022.
Expectations for the general economic situation over the next 12 months have increased by three points to -40, nine points better than last March.
The major purchase Index was up four points to -33, nine points lower than this month last year. But the Savings Index was up two points this month at +21, three points higher than this time last year, suggesting that consumers are still focused on conserving their cash rather than spending it.
Joe Staton, Client Strategy Director of GfK, said: “The recent budget will bring relief to some sections of the population, but for now many people are simply looking to survive day-by-day. Just having enough money to live right and pay the bills remains the number one concern for consumers across the UK.”
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