Consumer confidence has hit a record low for four out of the last five months, as shoppers’ concerns about personal finances and the economy in the year ahead spike.

Overall consumer confidence levels fell five points to -49 in September – the lowest level since records began in 1974, according to the GfK Consumer Confidence Index.

Measures tracking consumers’ outlook on their personal finances and the economy over the next 12 months recorded the steepest declines overall, down nine points to -40 and eight points to -68, respectively.

 

GfK client strategy director Joe Staton said these declines were “especially worrying as these numbers are where many forecasters look for signs of economic optimism among consumers and the results deliver very bad news in that respect”.

“Consumers are buckling under the pressure of the UK’s growing cost-of-living crisis driven by rapidly rising food prices, domestic fuel bills and mortgage payments. They are asking themselves when and how the situation will improve,” he added.

“Today’s mini-budget, and the longer-term agenda to drive the economy and help rebalance household finances, will be the first major opportunity to deliver that improvement. It will also be a major test for the popularity of Liz Truss’ new government.”

People’s outlook on their personal finances over the last year declined three points to -28, while their view on the economy over the last 12 months fell four points to -72.