- Consumer confidence up 3.2 points in August
- Big improvements in expected household financial situations and property values over the next year
- However, consumer confidence has not yet fully recovered post-Brexit
Consumer confidence has risen at the fastest month-on-month rate since February 2013, but it has not yet recovered to pre-Brexit levels.
Sentiment jumped 3.2 points in August, according to the latest figures from YouGov and the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR).
But while consumer confidence rebounded strongly in August – from 106.6 points in July to 109.8 in August – it has not yet fully returned to the level it was at prior to June’s EU referendum.
The index, based on the views of 6,000 adults, has only recovered around half the ground it lost in the wake of the referendum.
CEBR director Scott Corfe said: “This month’s improvement in consumer confidence follows positive news from other areas of the economy and slightly punctures the arguments of those who predicted immediate economic Armageddon following a Brexit vote.
“It is clear that the panic that gripped the public in the immediate aftermath of the referendum has subsided as institutions like the Bank of England take decisive action and the result becomes a part of life”
Stephen Harmston, YouGov
”With consumer confidence rising and year-on-year retail sales up, it is evident that the public have yet to feel many – if any – effects from the vote to leave the EU.
”Both inflation and unemployment are low, for now, which is undoubtedly supporting consumer optimism.”
YouGov head of reports Stephen Harmston agreed that “for all the talk of doom and gloom” most consumers have yet to feel much tangible impact of the vote.
He said: ”It is clear that the panic that gripped the public in the immediate aftermath of the referendum has subsided as institutions like the Bank of England take decisive action and the result becomes a part of life.”
He added, however, that “everything could change” once details of the deal to leave the EU emerge and ”the process of extracting ourselves from the Union become a reality”.
Likewise, Corfe said 2017 could be the year that consumers stumble, ”as the weakness of sterling pushes up the cost of imports”.
The next 12 months
YouGov and CEBR’s index showed a particularly significant jump in August for people’s expectations for their household financial situations and property values over the coming 12 months.
The only confidence indicator that has fallen slightly in the past month is job security in the year ahead.