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Consumer confidence flatlines ahead of election

November’s UK consumer confidence score marks nearly four years since the index was in positive territory. 

The GFK Consumer Confidence Index score for September was -14, the same as in October. In November 2018 the score was -13. 

However, consumer expectations for the general economic situation over the next 12 months have improved three points to -34 since October. 

Joe Staton, client strategy director at GFK, said this is “possibly an indication that some consumers believe the imminent general election might clear the Brexit deadlock”. 

Although he added: “A hung parliament could be very damaging for consumer confidence and would surely deepen the obvious malaise that we see month after month. We have not seen a positive headline score since January 2016 – that’s nearly four years ago. Uncertainty is nobody’s friend.

“So, while many issues are under the spotlight in this election, political parties will need to satisfy voters that they will be effective for the wider economy and that, as a consequence, people will be better off next year and beyond. Consumers need to be convinced they will be able to balance their personal accounts beyond ‘just about managing’. Fantasy economics alone will not guarantee votes.”

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