GfK’s Consumer Confidence Index increased seven points in February to -38. All five measures were up in comparison to the January 20th announcement, with the Major Purchase Index up three points to -37 (22 points lower YoY).

Joe Staton, client strategy director, GfK,says: “Despite widely reported headwinds of inflation continuing to outstrip wage rises, and the ongoing household challenge from the cost of living crisis, consumers have suddenly shown more optimism about the state of their personal finances and the general economic situation, especially for the coming year.

"While it's too early to talk about ‘green shoots of recovery’, the uptick across all measures should be welcomed. But what’s happening? Are people simply fed up with hearing bad news? Do they see a milder recession than the pundits predicted? Do they sense the most worrying phase of the energy crisis is over?

"The headline consumer confidence 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. However, many challenges remain and this may be nothing more than a bubble of hope – and bubbles always burst.”