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Fashion survives dip in consumer confidence

UK consumer confidence dropped by four percentage points year on year in the second quarter of 2019, as uncertainties around Brexit continue. 

Deloitte’s UK consumer confidence index remained at -8%, unchanged from the previous quarter.  

However, head of consumer research Ben Perkins noted: “As we’ve headed into the summer months, consumers have started to spend more on clothing and footwear, updating their wardrobes for the new season.”

It comes after fashion sales rose by 2.7% year on year last week – the ninth consecutive week of positive results for the sector.

The consumer confidence results, based on the response of more than 3,000 consumers in the UK, were particularly despondent in London and south east England - where confidence fell two percentage points to -9% – compared to the north, where confidence rose by three points to -7%.

Despite a “boom” in jobs and wage growth, consumer confidence in household disposable income and levels of debt declined by five and four percentage points respectively year on year.

Chief economist Ian Stewart said: “Consumers’ finances are in good shape thanks to a long boom in jobs and strong wage growth. That said, uncertainties about Brexit and growth are weighing on consumer sentiment and their spending plans.”

Perkins concluded: “While the end of this quarter saw an uplift in retail sales, a slowdown in both borrowing and saving, points to growing caution and could impact spending in the coming months.

“The question remains how long consumers will be willing – or, indeed, able – to keep spending.”



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