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Consumer Confidence – Time for a Change?

August 16th, 2012

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The overall UK Consumer Confidence Measures index score stayed the same in June at -29. Three of the five measures in this research carried out by GfK on behalf of the European Commission stayed the same this month, one measure saw a decrease this month and one measure increased. The annual moving average dropped one point to -30.

 

GfK Consumer Confidence Index Score – Last 12 months

consumer confidence

“Any suggestions that consumer confidence would receive a ‘Royal bounce’ from the Jubilee, as it did from William and Kate’s wedding last year, have been proven wrong. Nick Moon, Managing Director of Social Research at GfK said. “The Index remains the same this month – with the poor weather possibly off-setting any positives from the long Bank Holiday.”

He went on to put the month into the context of a much longer run of low confidence scores. “There has never been a year where the figures have remained so flat. The stagnant level of consumer confidence suggests that the public is stuck in a period of constant depression, which it is finding very hard to snap out of. While the current position is better than it was at the depths of the financial crisis in 2008, the figures do mark a dispiriting new type of low. Consumer confidence has been at -29 or worse for an entire 12-month spell – the worst run in its 40-year history.”

Measure June 2012 May 2012 June 2011
Overall Index Score -29 -29 -25
Personal Financial situation over last 12 months -23 -23 -20
Personal Financial situation over next 12 months -9 -9 -8
General Economic situation over last 12 months -58 -58 -50
General Economic situation over next 12 months -31 -26 -18
Climate for major purchases -28 -32 -27

Personal Financial Situation

The index measuring changes in personal finances during the last twelve months has stayed the same this month at -23; this is three points lower than June 2011.

The forecast for personal finances over the next twelve months has stayed the same this month at -9; this is one point lower than this time last year.

General Economic Situation

The measure for the general economic situation of the country during the last twelve months has stayed the same at -58; this is eight points lower than June 2012.

An expectation for the general economic situation over the next twelve months has decreased by five points to -31, thirteen points lower than June ‘11.

Climate for Major Purchases

The major purchases measure has increased by four points this month to
-28; which is one point lower than this time last year.

Savings Index

The ‘now is a good time to save’ Index, has increased five points to -11, which is two points lower than June ’11.

On the face of it, especially for consumer facing businesses these figures make depressing reading. However, within such a depressed market, lie opportunities to innovate and develop new approaches. As Darren Shirlaw points out in another article in this edition, timing is all in ensuring that you and your business are ready for the recovery, whenever it comes. He also emphasizes the importance of keeping close to the market watching for signs of change and being ready to act on them.

The figures may be, as GfK personify them, depressing. There is absolutely no need for business owners and CEOs to mirror that. Indeed, confidence and optimism (tempered with due diligence) is more likely to engineer a change, especially if it is reflected widely in the business community.

Results for the Consumer Confidence Barometer are normally available on the last working day of each month at 00.01am; the release date for July 2012 is Tuesday 31st July 2012. An additional option to complement your market intelligence –http://www.gfknop.com

 

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