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Brexit deadline hits consumer confidence

Consumer confidence dipped in September as the deadline for the UK’s departure from the European Union approaches.

The GfK Consumer Confidence Barometer showed a drop in its headline balance of two points to -9 in September, down from -7 in August.

Joe Staton, client strategy director at GfK said: “There are fewer than 200 days until Brexit arrangements in some shape or fashion take effect. The clock is ticking down and in September the consumer mood dropped a couple of notches. When respondents talk about their personal finances, the scores are still positive. But for the general economy, they can only reflect on the obvious uncertainty surrounding Brexit.”

He added: “That poor view of the wider economy is keeping the headline score negative – the last positive headline was the +4 in January 2016. The danger is that consumers might capitulate on how they feel about their personal finances. If that happens, we’ll see very sharp drops indeed in the Overall Index Score in the months up to March 2019. Will the coming six months see the consumer mood turn significantly more fragile? Or do consumers think Brexit will ultimately be positive?”

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