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UK consumer confidence dips in February

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The Consumer Confidence Index fell to -21 in February, with shoppers concerned about continued high inflation and the news of a recession.

Following three months of increases, the GfK’s Consumer Confidence Index stalled in February falling by two points.

Looking ahead GfK noted that the outlook for future personal finances is encouraging. The forecast over the next 12 months is unchanged with a value of 0, which is 18 points higher than this time last year.

Joe Staton, client strategy director GfK, said: “There’s a mixture of bad news and good news for February. The bad news is that the improvement in the Overall Index Score seen over recent months stalled slightly in February due to a fall across most measures.

“However, the good news is that optimism for our personal financial situation for the next 12 months has not slipped back. Although registering again at zero, this is a significant improvement on the -18 score from February last year. This metric is key to understanding the financial mood of the nation because confident householders are more likely to spend despite the cost-of-living crisis.

“Looking forward, it will be interesting to see what the forthcoming Budget delivers in terms of taxation and inflation. These are important issues to everyone – especially in an election year. The recent performance of the economy will play a crucial role in determining results at the ballot box. All the measures this February are better than a year ago, but consumer confidence alone will not carry us into a brighter economic future.”

Recent RetailX consumer research revealed the sectors which may take a hit if consumer confidence remains low. Of those surveyed, 30% of shoppers planned to spend less on luxury items, while nearly 43% expect to increase their grocery spending.

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