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Industry News

Published on November 29th, 2019 | by The GC Team

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“Uncertainty is nobody’s friend”

Consumer confidence remained in a state of paralysis in November with only one measure used to calculate public sentiment showing signs of life: surprisingly, expectations for the general economic situation for the next 12 months increased.

Researcher GfK, whose monthly Consumer Confidence Index showed no change, recording a score of -14, suggested an uptick of three points in economic sentiment was possibly an indication that some consumers believe the imminent general election might clear the Brexit deadlock.

Client Strategy Director Joe Staton said the election is potentially an opportunity “to move us out of the doldrums, but for this to happen there must be a clear result.”

Public confidence hasn’t registered a positive headline score since January 2016, and expectations for the economy over the next 12 months, despite the three-point rise, remain in deep negative territory at -34.

And at a key time of the year for retailers – i.e. the “golden quarter” – a fall in the major purchase index, down one point to zero in November, is not good news for the industry either.  

“Uncertainty is nobody’s friend,” said Staton. “Consumers need to be convinced they will be able to balance their personal accounts beyond ‘just about managing’.

“Fantasy economics alone will not guarantee votes.”

While many plans have come under the spotlight in this election, Staton pointed out that political parties “will need to satisfy voters that they will be effective for the wider economy and that, as a consequence, people will be better off next year and beyond.” 

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