Consumer confidence has edged down again this month, raising concerns for retailers as they enter the critical festive season.
According to GfK’s UK Consumer Confidence index, sentiment decreased by one point this month to -2. The fall follows September’s two point drop and is in stark contrast to June’s nine-year consumer confidence high.
GfK managing director of social research Nick Moon said: “This is now the seventh month in a row that the Index has stood within two points either way of -1, and the almost constant improvement that saw the Index rise 28 points between April 2013 and June 2014 seems to have completely run out of steam.
“This is not, of course, to say that it will not start to rise again soon, but the opportunities for it to do so before we get seriously into the general election campaign are fast running out.”
Consumers are feeling less confident about the general economic outlook over the next 12 months, with the index reflecting this measure dropping from 4 in September to 2 in October. However, this is still an improvement on October 2013, when it was -2.
Consumers’ propensity to buy big ticket items is subdued. That index dropped from 0 in September to -5 in October. This compares with -11 a year ago.
However, the index measuring how consumers feel about their personal finances over the next 12 months increased by three points month on month, to 4. This compares with -2 in October 2013.