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News August retail sales growth supports consumer optimism

Published on November 1st, 2017 | by The GC Team

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UK Consumer Confidence down one point in October

According to GfK’s long-running Consumer Confidence Index, UK consumers are generally less confident about their economic prospects, with the Index slipping one point to -10 in October.

The one slightly upbeat glimmer is that the Major Purchase Index – one of the five indeces contributing to the overall Index score – was up by two points to +3, the third consecutive monthly increase in this measure.

Joe Staton, Head of Market Dynamics at GfK, says: “It’s no surprise that the Overall Index Score continues to bump along in negative territory this month. As concerns about the wider economic prospects for the UK economy dampen our outlook, consumers are showing no real ‘get-up-and-go’. The tiny shift up a point in how we view our personal finances over the past year is counter-intuitive given rising living costs, an imminent interest rate rise, and the reality that we earn less in real terms in 2017 than in early 2006. Our enthusiasm for spending, as witnessed by the uptick in the Major Purchase Index, is more worrying than reassuring. Surging credit card use is fuelling spending at the expense of our appetite for saving, which is growing at the slowest rate since the start of the 2008/2009 financial crisis.

“We are now entering the crucial Christmas trading season and it will be a testing time for retailers and consumers alike. Will consumers carry on shopping or start to cut back in the face of mounting pressure on our pockets?”

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