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Consumer confidence dips

Consumer confidence fell by two points in March and “lockdown Britain” can only expect further deterioration as the coronavirus crisis begins to bite. 

GfK’s Consumer Confidence Index fell to -9 last month but the market research firm stressed that the analysis took place in the first two weeks of March – when coronavirus was headline news but had not yet impacted the day-to-day lives of consumers.

Joe Staton, client strategy director at GfK said: “Against the threat of a dramatic slowdown in the UK economy due to the spread of Covid-19, the Consumer Confidence Barometer has weakened by two points this month. After a run of increasingly positive numbers since last December, we’re now seeing Very clear disruption.

“There’s a six-point drop in perceptions of the economy in the coming year, although the view on the Next 12 months for personal finances has recorded a softer decrease of three points. The steep eight-point fall in the Major Purchase Index is worrying news for retailers across the land. While we have a long way to drop before we match the devastating numbers seen in July 2008 when the Overall Index Score crashed to -39 points, lockdown Britain can only expect further deterioration.”

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