UK – Confidence among UK consumers fell by 2.3 points in September, with considerable declines in confidence around household finances, according to analysis from YouGov and the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr).
The drop to an overall confidence level of 110.5 means confidence has returned to the same level as it was in April this year.
Of the eight measures analysed, six declined in the past month, with two increasing.
However, any score over 100 in the YouGov and Cebr measurement means more consumers are confident than not.
Darren Yaxley, director of reputation research at YouGov, said: “YouGov’s Consumer Confidence Index has been consistently increasing since the record low of May 2020 to a high of 113.6 this summer, until now. The gains made during this year’s summer have been undone and scores are now back to a level last seen six months ago.”
The outlook on household finances for the year ahead dropped by 10.7 points in the past month to 90.9 – the second largest decrease ever recorded by YouGov, with the first being the drop in March 2020.
Meanwhile, the measure of people’s view on their personal finances in the last month also decreased, by 5.5 points to 89.6.
Yaxley said: “The past few months of rising prices, bill increases and a fuel crisis brought on by labour shortages have decimated Britons’ confidence in their personal finances for the coming year, meaning Brits are less and less confident that that their household finances will improve. With almost every metric declining apart from job security and home value for the past 30 days, September’s consumer confidence index is a sober read.”
Workers now feel more pessimistic about job security in the year ahead than they did in August, with a decrease of -2.3, however the measure remains positive at 115.7, according to the index.
In the past month, slightly more workers than previously reported feeling secure in their employment, with the measure rising to 92.5 (+1 ), but the figure is still in negative territory.
Business activity – how busy workers say their workplace was or is expected to be in the next 12 months – fell by 1.3 points for the past month (now at 110.9 ) and the next year (now 126.8 ).
Kay Neufeld, head of forecasting and thought leadership, Cebr, said: “While inflation has been on the rise for a while, the effects have started to become more tangible in recent weeks for the average consumer, further exacerbated by the termination of several government pandemic support schemes such as the universal credit uplift and the furlough scheme.
“The largest decreases in this month’s index were recorded in the household finance measures, with consumers concerned about the erosion of their purchasing power through higher inflation. Decreases in the business activity and the forward-looking job security measures further confirm that the economic recovery has hit a speed bump.”