Consumer confidence plunged seven points to -29 in December proving consumer sentiment remains fragile despite Christmas being less than a week away.
The fall comes after an eight-point rise in November and equates to just one point increase on October, recorded by the GfK Consumer Confidence Index.
GfK managing director of social research Nick Moon said: “While such a dramatic drop in consumer confidence over the past month might seem like very bad news, it must be seen in the context of a massive eight point rise in November – the seventh highest increase since the Index began in 1974.
“On its own, this increase suggested a real turning point in consumer confidence as we looked ahead to 2013. But just as with significant improvements like this in the past – in May 2011 for example – the surge disappeared as fast as it arrived.”
But he warned: “Despite last month’s rise, the index is now only one point higher than it was in October 2012, indicating that consumer sentiment is still fragile despite the fact Christmas is less than a week away.”
Of the five measures in the index four fell, while one remained the same.
Consumer confidence in their personal financial situation over the next 12 months stayed the same at -7, which is three points higher than this time last year.
Consumer confidence in the general economic situation over the next 12 months plunged 16 points to -31.
Consumer confidence in their personal financial situation over the past 12 months dropped one point to -22 and confidence in the general economic situation over the past 12 months slumped 11 points to -55.
High ticket items might also take a hit with confidence in the climate to make major purchases down one point to -27.