More bad news for the High Street as the Consumer Confidence Index drops one point.
It comes on the heels of a further period of bad news for the UK retail landscape, with both Toys R Us and Maplin entering administration and New Look announcing store closures.
GfK’s long-running Consumer Confidence Index dropped one point in February. Three of the five measures decreased in February, one stayed at the same level and one increased.
Personal financial situations, concerns about the general economic situation and rising prices are being blamed for the downwards shift.
“Ongoing concerns about sluggish household income, rising prices paid by consumers in the shops, and the prospect of inflation-busting council tax and interest rate hikes has dented confidence after last month’s surprising rally,” said Joe Staton, Head of Experience Innovation UK at GfK.
“The two-year trend of negative sentiment – the Overall Index Score has bounced between zero and -13 since February 2016 – proves consumers feel pessimistic about the state of household finances and the wider UK economy.
“Shoppers continue to rein in spending, witnessed by the drop in the Major Purchase Index and the gloomy start to 2018 for many retailers. Despite positive news about upgraded growth forecasts, and the promise of higher wage increases this year, confidence will remain subdued until we feel the positive impact on our purses. Consumers have good reason to feel jittery and depressed.”
The UK Consumer Confidence Barometer is conducted by GfK on behalf of the EU, with similar surveys being conducted in each European country. The survey is conducted amongst a sample of 2001 individuals aged 16+.