Consumer confidence increased marginally across all measures in September as shoppers delivered mixed results ahead of the October 31 Brexit deadline.

Overall consumer confidence increased 2 points month on month to -12 in September, although this was still down on the previous score for September 2018, according to the GfK Consumer Confidence Barometer.

While customer confidence in the general economy over the next 12 months was still distinctly negative, it actually jumped 3 percentage points in September to -35, which prompted GfK to ask “are consumers keeping their fingers crossed in the run-up to October 31?”.

Shoppers’ confidence in their personal finances over the coming year jumped 2 points month on month to 4, compared to 5 in September 2018.

Consumer confidence in the general economy and personal finances over the previous year registered 2 and 3 percentage point jumps month on month, up to -32 and 2 respectively.

Shoppers’ inclination to make significant purchases also saw a 2 percentage point bump, up to 3, while the savings index saw a two-point jump to 23.

GfK client strategy director Joe Staton said: “More mixed signals this month as consumers continue to feel less than positive about the state of their personal finances and the general economy. Yes, all sub measures are higher, but they are anaemic in the case of our purchase intentions and how we view our wallets, while the results on the wider economy are still depressed.

“Since the Brexit referendum we have witnessed a long succession of negative Overall Index scores with the overall trend downwards. This month, British consumers appear to be treading water during this wait-and-see run-up to October 31. Confidence is an important indicator which typically increases as the economy expands and decreases when the economy contracts and, so far, consumer confidence is holding up.

“We certainly have a long way to go to match the record low headline score of -39 witnessed during the early days of the last recession. But will it stay that way? You can almost sense people are keeping their fingers crossed.”