Consumer confidence remained flat in March after a two-point decrease in February but views on personal finance improved despite the ongoing challenges faced by consumers.

The overall index score for consumer confidence remained flat at -21 in March, according to the latest GfK Consumer Confidence Barometer.

Three indexes measuring consumer confidence were up, while two were down compared with last month.


The index measuring consumers’ confidence in their personal financial situation over the past 12 months was up one point to -13.

When looking ahead to the next 12 months, the index measuring consumers’ confidence in their personal finances increased by two points to 2, which was 23 points higher than this time last year.

Consumer confidence in the general economic situation over the past 12 months decreased by two points to -45 and increased by one point to -23 when looking at the next 12 months.

The major purchase index fell two points to -27, while the savings index over the next 12 months decreased by four points to 25 – four points higher than it was this time last year. 

Joe Staton, client strategy director for GfK, said: “Consumer confidence stalled at minus -21 in March, following the two-point dip in February. The improved personal finance measure (next 12 months) at 2 is encouraging because it’s the first positive and the highest score since December 2021.

“This is welcome news given the challenges faced by Britons of fiscal drag, higher costs for fuel, rising council taxes and utilities eroding any increases in wages or other income.

“But is there a note of worry this month? Look back to last year and it’s clear the improvements in consumer confidence seen most months since January 2023 have vanished.

“Moreover, this month the major purchase index has dropped two points, the view of the wider economy over the past year is down and the savings index has dived four points. Are we temporarily on pause, or are consumers about to press ‘reverse’?

“In the run-up to the next UK general election, these are important questions for the future health of the economy.”