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22 October 2021

How UK consumer confidence is plummeting

Confidence among consumers has fallen to its lowest level since the last national lockdown.

By Ben Walker

Consumer confidence in the UK has fallen for the third consecutive month amid anxiety over rising energy prices, food shortages and Universal Credit cuts.

The Growth from Knowledge (GfK) tracker, which has measured consumer confidence since the 1970s, found that public optimism over the economy and their personal finances had fallen to levels last seen when the UK was still in lockdown in February of this year.

The primary driver of this fall, according to GfK’s own metrics, is not the general economic situation over the past 12 months but the anticipated economic situation over the next 12 months.

In other words, consumers are expecting the economy to worsen in the weeks and months to come, and businesses, both large and small, may prepare their finances accordingly, such as spending less and saving more. That is unlikely to prove positive for an already fragile economic recovery.

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