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Consumer confidence edges up as shoppers ignore 'Brexit noise'

Consumer confidence has bounced back in August after two months of decline, as shoppers began to ignore ‘Brexit babble.’

The GFK Consumer Confidence Index increased by three points to -7 in August 2018. Four measures increased, and one measure stayed the same. Consumers expected both the general economic situation and their personal finances to improve over the next 12 months.

Joe Staton, client strategy director at GFK, said: “Consumers are no doubt aware of the incessant Brexit noise, the core debate about whether ‘no deal is better than a bad deal’, the accompanying threats, warnings and uncertainties, the wild hopes and dark fears, and the daily ups and downs. But are consumers putting their hands over their ears and quietly saying: let’s just wait-and-see?

“We are just months away from the Brexit crunch but there is no sign, yet, of any crash in consumer confidence. Yes, the core index continues to muddle along in negative territory, but Armageddon seems a distant prospect. With this month’s jump to -7, we have four of the constituent scores up and one unchanged. And we are well above the worrying -39 we saw in July 2008.”

Readers' comments (2)

  • Until prices change, consumers aren’t going to change much. This optimistic analysis doesn’t take into account that fewer folk have been abroad this summer. Owing to a hot summer and exchange rates that Brexit related decisions are already weakening.

    Outcome is artificially more custom in August. When prices go up, rest assured the impact will be felt. Plus interest rates are now just beginning to go up.

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  • Brexit per se is not a direct issue for the everyday consumer. The two things that always matter is disposable income and confidence. Prices need and must to go up, because the way the trade has been behaving over recent years with its level of constant discounting and lack of desire to make a profit, has brought it into self-disrepute.

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