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Industry News

Published on January 22nd, 2021 | by The GC Team

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Consumer confidence wanes again

In December 2020, consumer confidence increased by seven points with a lightening in the general mood of the public attributed to the approval of the Covid-19 vaccine early in the month. The rise marked the strongest improvement in eight years and it felt like a celebration was in order.  

Come January, and the arrival of said vaccine appears not to have delivered the shot in the arm the nation had hoped for.

According to researcher GfK, confidence fell two points to -28 during the month, with views on the general economic situation over the next 12 months making grim reading; a nine-point drop taking the Index figure to -44, following an astonishing uplift of 15 points in December.  

“This continues to suppress the overall index, which is further dampened by a weak major purchase score, as reflected in retail sales figures across the country,” said GfK Client Strategy Director Joe Staton.

According to the BRC/KPMG retail sales monitor, published the second week of January, 2020 proved to be the worst year on record for retail sales growth, particularly for bricks & mortar non-food stores which, mainly due to imposed temporary closures, recorded sales down by a quarter compared with 2019.

Only one of the five key measurements in this month’s Consumer Confidence Index remained in positive territory, albeit after falling one point, that being the view on personal finances over the next 12 months, which now stands at two points.

“This is positive news,” said Staton, “because amid widespread uncertainty over jobs and livelihoods, any decline in how we see our personal finances in the year to come would be a clear warning for the economic outlook.”

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