6 March 2023

The latest data by GfK shows that UK consumer confidence hit in February the highest level since April 2022, thus displaying households’ resilience despite the cost-of-living crisis, writes World Footwear.

The Research Group GfK said that its index of consumer confidence, which measures how people view their personal finances and wider economic prospects, rose by seven points to -38. The index reached then its best score since April 2022, following the record low of January. According to Joe Staton, client strategy director at GfK, despite the continuing impact of inflation on wages and the ongoing household challenge from the cost-of-living crisis, consumers “suddenly shown more optimism about the state of their personal finances and the general economic situation, especially for the coming year”.

The data, based on interviews conducted between the 1st and the 13th of February, suggests that consumers recovered some confidence in their personal finances, with the forecast for the next 12 months increasing by nine points to -18, as compared to February 2022, as well as in the willingness to make expensive purchases, up by three points to -37. The savings index, which measures how likely consumers are to put away money but is not included in the overall score, also rose from 14 to 19, on a comparable basis to the same month last year. Moreover, consumers’ outlook on the future economic situation grew by 11 to -43 points between January and February, the same score as February 2022.

“While it’s too early to talk about ‘green shoots of recovery’, the uptick across all measures should be welcomed”, he said. However, the February score is still “severely depressed” and the mood, as well as the economy remain, a “long way off pre-lockdown levels”, but a little consumer resilience might be what we need to soften any downturn in 2023”.

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