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Published on February 26th, 2021 | by The GC Team

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Optimism for UK economy lifts consumer confidence

Consumer confidence in the UK improved by five points in February driven by a 14-point rise in how the nation views the economy for the coming year, according to research company GfK.

The five-point rise in the overall Index score means confidence now stands at -23, in comparison to -7 in February last year, but rises in the Personal Financial Situation (up two points) for the 12 months ahead and the Major Purchase Index (up five points) signal the public is now ready to spend.   

Retail intelligence firm Springboard has said the reopening of retail stores on 12 April is expected to trigger the release of weeks of pent-up demand and is forecasting that footfall across the UK will increase by up to 47.9% in the first trading week.

Joe Staton, Client Strategy Director at GfK, said: “We need to be cautious,” however, “because the positive tailwinds of the vaccination rollout are being met by the very strong headwinds of unemployment, the threat of inflation and the difficulty that many face in affording day-to-day living costs – all serious issues that can dampen consumer confidence.

“Perhaps the key lies in the healthier score in how people are seeing their personal finances going forward. This is the factor that will impact our spending plans which in turn will fuel the post-pandemic economy. That measure is up two points and is reinforced by an encouraging five-point boost for major purchase intentions.”

While four of the five measures used to calculate the confidence Index score remain very much in the red, the view on personal finances over the next 12 months stands at a positive 4.  

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