UK consumer confidence continues to build
UK consumer confidence pushed higher in September, a long-running survey showed on Friday.
The GfK Consumer Confidence Index increased four points to -21, the highest reading since January 2022.
Within that, all five measures were ahead month-on-month. The forward-looking personal finance situation index was one point higher at -2, while the general economic situation over the next 12 months rose six points to -24.
The major purchase index was also stronger, ahead four points at -20.
On Thursday, the Bank of England opted to keep interest rates unchanged at 5.25% for the first time since November 2021, after inflation fell by more than expected, to 6.7%.
Joe Staton, client strategy director at GfK, said: “Against the backdrop of falling inflation figures, growth in wages and high interest rates, UK consumer confidence rose [to]…the best recorded showing since January 2022.
“And with less than 100 days to Christmas, the four-point boost to the major purchase index might offer some hope to retailers, who know all too well that many people face financial pressure in the run-up to this year’s festive season.”
However, Staton also added a note of caution: “While this month’s improved headline score is good news, it’s important to note many households are still struggling with the cost of living crisis and that economic conditions are tough.
“The reality is that consumer confidence remains suppressed.”
The survey of 2,001 individuals aged 16 and older was conducted between 1 and 13 September. The study has been running since 1974.