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Published on November 24th, 2021 | by The GC Team


Christmas spirit delivers good news for retailers

If consumer confidence were measured by intentions to spend then, inevitably, it would rise. And rise it has done, with public sentiment reversing gear in November after retreating for three consecutive months under economic strain and disruption.

The fast-approaching countdown to Christmas appears to have been just the tonic for a nation which only a month ago was defined as “down-in-the-mouth about the chilly winter months ahead”: GfK’s monthly Consumer Confidence Index increased three points in November, buoyed by a seven-point rise in the Major Purchase Index.

And life over the past 12 months has also been better than rated just a month ago. The measure for the general economic situation of the country over that time rose by six points and now stands 27 points higher than in November 2020.  

Expectations for the general economic situation over the coming 12 months have improved too, increasing three points and also now standing 27 points higher than November 2020.

GfK’s Client Strategy Director Joe Staton notes that headline consumer sentiment rose “despite decade-high inflation, fears of higher prices and worries over rising interest rates and as the deepening cost-of-living squeeze leaves UK household finances worse off this winter.”

However, he adds: “One highlight for both physical and virtual retail is the seven-point jump in major purchase intentions in the run-up to Black Friday and Christmas.

“Is this a sign that shoppers are ready to bounce back after last year’s cancelled family gatherings, with a Christmas splurge in coming weeks?  That’s how it looks – but consumers also know that when the festivities are over it’s going to be a tough year in 2022.”

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