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UK consumer confidence drops

Consumer confidence in the UK has dropped by one point in the month of October, signalling concern for retailers in the run up to Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Research carried out by GfK on behalf of the European Commission showed the Consumer Confidence Index dropped to -10, with further declines expected over the coming months.

Joe Staton, client strategy director at GfK, said the recent claims about the end of austerity, coupled with lower price inflation and accelerating wages growth, “would normally be sufficient to boost consumer sentiment”.

He said: “The prospect of a no deal [or] hard Brexit must surely be weighing heavily on people’s minds, injecting a mood of despondency as to how people view their future personal finances and the longer-term economic outlook for the UK.”

He added that the current situation will concern retailers in the run up to Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and the key Christmas trading period.

“Consumers behave like financial markets – when confidence is lacking, markets stutter and tumble. When confidence comes back, we are more than willing to spend, borrow or save.

“However, with no immediate prospect of any feel good news impacting our hearts, minds and wallets, the Index is set for further declines. It looks like the UK government will need to administer an exceptionally strong tonic to the nation to settle the obvious Brexit anxieties.”

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