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Brexit nerves erode consumer confidence

Consumer confidence slid across all five measures in August as political upheaval continues to make shoppers feel nervous.

Overall consumer confidence declined by three points this month, GfK’s long-running Consumer Confidence Index shows. Confidence in the general economy over the next 12 months took the biggest hit, falling by six points month on month.

Joe Staton, client strategy director at GfK, said: “Until Brexit leaves the front pages – whenever that will be – consumers can be forgiven for feeling nervous not just about the wider economy, but also about their financial situation. That’s an important distinction because a significant development in August is the sudden drop in views on personal finances ‘over the next 12 months’ after the encouraging jump in this measure last month.

“For a long time, the downward momentum in the overall index score has been associated with our views on economy. But reduced confidence is now affecting how we see our personal finances. If there is a continuation of that dip in our feelings about our ‘future wallets’, we’d quickly see a headline score (the average of our five sub-measures) crash to a level that approaches the worrying figures seen in the worst days of the 2008/09 financial crisis.”

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