The gloom among people in Britain over their personal finances hit a fresh all-time low in April, according to a survey which added to signs of how households are struggling to cope with a cost-of-living crisis.
The monthly consumer sentiment survey from pollsters YouGov and consultancy Cebr showed sentiment around household finances – both in the past and in the future – slid to the lowest levels last month since the survey began 10 years ago.
Previously released consumer confidence surveys have also pointed to a slump in expectations around personal finances.
Last week the Bank of England warned of double-digit inflation and a high risk of recession.
A Reuters analysis this week showed people were more downbeat about their finances and the economic outlook in Britain than in any other major European economy, raising questions about the levels of government support for households.
YouGov/Cebr’s overall gauge of consumer sentiment fell for a fifth month running to 102.9 in April, its lowest since November 2020, from 103.9 in March.
“The YouGov/Cebr Consumer Confidence Index remains in free fall,” said Kay Neufeld, head of forecasting at Cebr.
Business surveys and labour market data have painted a healthier picture of the economy, which is one reason why the BoE has raised interest rates four times since December.
But those indicators lagged behind consumer confidence ahead of the 2008/09 recession.
“Worryingly consumers are also becoming less optimistic on the outlook for business activity going forward, which is likely driven by greater anxiety about a potential recession further down the line,” Neufeld said.