GfK’s long-running Consumer Confidence Index increased two points this month to -5, but saw the Major Purchase Index dip two points to +10 – six points lower than this time last year.
Joe Staton, head of market dynamics at GfK, says: "Despite strong GDP and record FTSE highs, the combination of Brexit jitters, Blue Monday, and a wobbly pound pushing up prices contributed to keeping UK consumer confidence negative at -5 this month.
"Although consumers report that they are feeling upbeat about their personal financial situation for the coming year (four-point increase to +7), stubborn concerns about the wider economy looking back 12 months (-24 points) and ahead 12 months (-23 points) are ensuring the Overall Index Score remains stuck in gloomy territory.
"And is the decline in the Major Purchase Index this month a foretaste of slowing consumer spending throughout 2017? Rising inflation and weak income growth is forecast to squeeze households’ disposable income, and these two factors could conspire to depress confidence for the year ahead. It’s certainly difficult to see where the oomph will come from over the short term.”