The UK’s cost of living crisis has knocked consumer confidence again, according to the latest analysis from YouGov and the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR). As with last month and the month before, a modest fall in the overall index (-1.0) can be explained by a rather more severe decline in household finance measures, which have hit yet another all-time low.
YouGov collects consumer confidence data every day, conducting over 6,000 interviews a month. Respondents answer questions about household finances, property prices, job security, and business activity, both over the past 30 days and looking ahead to the next 12 months.
With the energy price cap rising on April 1, over the last month (April 1 – 30) consumers across the nation have seen a hefty rise in their utility bills – and the continuing freefall of household finance measures suggests they have been feeling the squeeze. In another of a series of nadirs for the metric, short-term measures (covering the past 30 days) dropped by 6 points to 56.7. Outlook also hit an all-time low, inching downwards from 49.1 to 48.3; but compared to March and February (when the measure tumbled by -10.6 and -19.3 respectively), it’s a case of things going from “bad” to “very slightly worse”.
Across other measures, the story is rather less dramatic. Worker perceptions of retrospective business activity saw a minor bump, increasing to 111.9 (+1.1), but – with higher energy bills giving consumers greater incentive to tighten their belts – outlook has fallen to 121.0 (-2.2.). Both metrics remain positive overall. Similarly, house value metrics among the nation’s homeowners for the short-term saw mild improvement (+0.9 – rising to 133.5), while the forward-looking mesure got mildly worse (-1.0 – falling to 137.4).
Job security metrics remained broadly stagnant, increasing from 93.5 to 94.1 (+0.6) for the past 30 days and falling from 120.8 to 120.3 (-0.5) for the next 12 months.