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UK economic outlook at seven-year low

UK consumers’ outlook for the economy over the next year is at the lowest level for more than seven years amid Brexit uncertainty, new data shows.

Gfk’s Consumer Confidence Index for January shows a -39 for “general economic situation over the next 12 months”, which is close to the levels experienced during the recession in 2008/9.

The overall consumer confidence index stayed at the same level as last January at -14.

Joe Staton, client strategy director at GfK, said: “With the overall index score stuck at -14 this month, UK consumers remain in a ‘wait and see’ holding pattern in the face of political chaos in Westminster. Although we’re feeling slightly more confident about our personal finances – thanks to the effect of strong employment, low interest and inflation rates, and rising household incomes – concerns about the wider economic prospects for the country continue to weigh and depress the Overall Index Score.

“We have a -39 for ‘general economic situation over the next 12 months’ – the lowest for more than seven years and getting close to the levels we saw at the end of 2008 and in early 2009. This is unsurprising, given that consumers, companies and corporations thrive on certainty, which is in short supply just two months before the planned date for the UK’s EU exit. The next few months promise to be turbulent for the consumer, so will this measure for the economic outlook in the coming year drop even further?”


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