Consumers are taking a stoic approach to the uncertainty surrounding Brexit, with consumer confidence rising in February.
GfK’s consumer confidence index rose by one point during the month to -13, with consumers feeling marginally more confident about the general economic situation than in the previous month.
The measure for the UK’s general economic situation during the last year increased two points to -33, although this was four points lower than at the same point last year.
Expectations for the country’s general economic situation over the coming year was up one point to -38, 12 points lower than in February 2018.
GfK client strategy director Joe Staton said: “Although bumping along in negative territory, the overall index score is not showing any sign of making the dramatic drop seen after the June 2016 Brexit Referendum or in the early days of the last financial downturn.
“While the view on personal finances looking at the year to come is still marginally positive, the continuing depressed sentiment towards the general economic situation might point towards the calm before the storm of post-Brexit headwinds and potential negative economic outcomes.
“Are we on the edge of some kind of economic or livelihood precipice? Consumers are like markets, they respond to certainty and that’s in short supply just now.
“It is worth bearing in mind that many economic indicators (employment levels, wage growth) remain positive. But it is frankly amazing that confidence is so stoic and stable in a world of sharp political instability and fear of the unknown.”
The personal financial situation index for the last year remained unchanged at 0, the same as in February 2018, while the forecast for next 12 months stayed at +1, four points lower than at this time last year.
The major purchase index increased three points to +5, five points higher than February 2018.
The savings index has increased four points to +18, six points higher than at this time last year.