Consumer confidence edged up one point to -9 in September as shoppers were in a defiant mood.
GfK’s long-running UK Consumer Confidence Index showed that while confidence in one’s personal financial situation had decreased, the measures on the general economic situation and confidence in making major purchases increased.
GfK head of market dynamics Joe Staton said: “Consumers appear to be in a mixed mood – with some confidence measures up and others down – yet there’s a strong note of defiance.
“Many commentators expected shoppers to cut back on spending thanks to the lower purchasing power that arises from higher inflation and weak wage growth. But consumers are still spending out there, and have repeatedly defied predictions of a downturn since last year’s Brexit vote, partly by running down savings and/or borrowing more.
“Indeed, the major purchase indicator has crept up a second month in a row and the savings index has sagged. It’s live now, pay later. This defiant consumer mood seems to be the ‘new normal’. But how long can it last?”
The index measuring changes in personal finances during the last 12 months decreased by three points this month to -1 against August’s figure, while the forecast for the year ahead fell one point to 4.
However, the major purchase index increased one point to +1 in September.
The measure for the general economic situation over the past year increased two points to -28. However, this is 12 points lower than September 2016.
Expectations for the general economic situation over the next 12 months have increased three points this month to -24.