- Consumer confidence remained flat in the second quarter, according to the latest figures from Deloitte
- Continued growth in leisure and non-essential items during the quarter
- Job security among younger consumers fell to lowest level since 2012
- Clarity from the government over the Brexit process could support consumer spending
Consumer confidence remained unchanged in the days following the EU referendum, but confidence in job security fell considerably.
A survey of 3,000 consumers carried out in the three days after the referendum found that consumer confidence was flat compared with the previous quarter. However, consumers appeared to be more concerned about future job security.
Confidence in job security fell by three points in the second quarter from the previous quarter, and by six points compared to the same period last year, according the latest figures from business advisory firm Deloitte.
Confidence in job security among those aged 18-34 fell by seven points to its lowest level since the start of 2012.
In addition, the consumer tracker showed that people are continuing to shift their spending towards non-essential, discretionary items and away from everyday essentials. Net spending on both big and small-ticket discretionary items rose compared to the previous quarter.
Leisure spending is still growing at a faster rate than retail spending though, as consumers prioritise spending on experiences, such as eating out and entertainment.
Deloitte chief economist Ian Stewart said: “We surveyed UK consumers […] against a backdrop of the resignation of the Prime Minister and a sell-off in UK equities and the pound.
“Despite the turmoil, confidence among our sample was, remarkably, unchanged from March.”
Stewart said this resilience “contrasts with the plunge in business confidence” recorded in Deloitte’s post-referendum CFO survey.
He added, however, that the outlook for growth has dimmed and that, due to the “complexity, scale and importance of the negotiations” that uncertainty is “here to stay”.
Stewart said that the government can provide important reassurance to consumers and business “by providing a compelling vision of the UK’s long-term economic future”.
Deloitte head of consumer research Ben Perkins said: “It remains to be seen what impact political and economic uncertainty will have on the consumer market. However, a silver lining lies in the fact that consumer-focused economic fundamentals remain favourable, with inflation, unemployment and the cost of borrowing still all low.”