Shopper sentiment declined over the last month as ‘household jitters’ and squeezed incomes conspired to dampen the consumer mood.

GfK’s Consumer Confidence Barometer fell two points to -12 in November, marking the 20th consecutive month of negative shopper sentiment.

GfK head of market dynamics Joe Staton said: “Sadly, there’s no festive cheer in this month’s Consumer Confidence Index.

“This is the second time this year that consumer confidence has matched the worrying -12 score seen in July 2016 after the Brexit vote.”

He put the fall down to “household jitters following the recent interest rate hike, squeezed incomes, higher inflation and economic uncertainty”, dampening the consumer mood across the UK.

Major purchase decline

All five measures used to calculate consumer confidence declined, but the major purchase index – which gives an indication of consumers’ propensity to buy big-ticket items – fell most dramatically.

The index recorded a sharp six-point drop to -3 in November, marking its first drop in this measure for three months.

Staton said this was “perhaps of most concern during this key Christmas trading period”.

“Many retailers have been hit by the slowdown in consumer spending as households begin to feel the pinch and cut back on their budgets.”

Confidence in the general economic situation over the past 12 months fell three points to -32.


Looking ahead, Staton said: “The confidence trajectory is unquestionably negative and sadly no amount of tinsel or baubles will change it.

“We need some big, positive economic good tidings to reverse this downwards trend – some snap we can put into our Christmas crackers. But where will the Index be next month?”