GfK’s Consumer Confidence Index decreased two points in April 2018, to -9. Four of the five measures were lower, but the Major Purchase Index (MPI), which reflects consumers' willingness to buy big-ticket items such as furniture, increased one point to +3 – four points lower than in April 2017.
Joe Staton, client strategy director at GfK, says: “We now have 28 consecutive months without a positive overall index score. The last positive was in January 2016. Hope springs eternal for better numbers but the continued uncertain economic forecast means that the sun is not yet shining brightly for UK consumers.
"Despite the headline news proclaiming that UK wages rose faster than inflation, that there’s no imminent interest rate rise on the horizon, and that we enjoy record high levels of employment, the index continues to bump along stubbornly in negative territory with a two-point slide to -9 this April.
"As consumers, we need to see clear evidence with our own eyes – in our bank balances and pay packets – that balmier economic climes have returned. Yet our view of the UK’s general economic situation remains low. More worryingly, there is a steep decline this month in the numbers concerning our personal financial situation – for both the past 12 months and the year ahead. This is the measure relating to security in our day-to-day finances and propensity to shop, spend and plan for their future. There’s little evidence of optimism in that respect. Consumer confidence is stuck in the doldrums.”
28 consecutive months have now passed without a positive overall index score.