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​Consumer confidence 'falls off a cliff'

UK consumer confidence has shown its biggest fall since records began in January 1974.

A survey by consultancy GfK found consumer confidence was down by 24 points between the first two and last two weeks of March, falling to -34.

All measures decreased over the period, including confidence in respondents’ personal financial situation over the last 12 months, personal financial situation over the next 12 months, and the general economic situation over the next 12 months.

The report surveyed 2,000 individuals on 16-17 March.

Joe Staton, GfK’s client strategy director, said: “Our Covid-19 ‘flash report’ shows a dramatic result with consumer confidence falling off the cliff in the last two weeks of March. The last time we saw such a decline was during the 2008 economic downturn.

“Our falling confidence in our personal financial situation and the wider economy reflects the new concern for many across the UK. Despite record grocery sales, and recent peaks for purchases of freezers, TVs and home office equipment as people prepared for a long period in the home, the Major Purchase Index is down 50 points – a stark picture for some parts of the retail industry in the short-to-medium term.”

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