GfK’s Consumer Confidence Index decreased two points in October, to –14. All five measures decreased this month – including the major purchase index, which fell two points to +1 (three points lower YoY).
Joe Staton, client strategy director at GfK, says: “In the face of continued Brexit uncertainty, the Overall Index Score fell to -14 this month.
"Importantly, the ongoing machinations in Westminster appear to be impacting how we view our personal financial situation for the coming year, with a notable fall of -3 in this measure in October. Is this an early sign of long-running weak economic confidence spreading to the way we view money matters?
"This deterioration in sentiment regarding our personal financial affairs is worrying, as strong consumer spending has been the main driver of economic growth since the referendum in 2016, against a backdrop of low inflation, low interest rates, low wage growth and high employment.
"Does reduced confidence in personal finances for the year ahead pose a risk to the wider economy? Nobody wants to see consumer spending reduce, and let’s hope it doesn’t happen. But Brexit’s continuing uncertainty and the spectre of a general election is not helpful. People can only feel confident if they believe the external environment is stable, yet consumers are witnessing too many Brexit shifts and surprises, too many Brexit timelines and counter proposals to justify any longer-term confidence. The big black Brexit cloud is refusing to shift.”