Global market turmoil fails to derail UK consumer confidence in January

Christmas Shoppers Hunt For Gifts On The High Street
Consumer confidence rose in January (Source: Getty)

UK CONSUMER confidence rose in January, shrugging off the global market volatility that overshadowed the start of the year.

Market research firm GfK found that its consumer confidence index increased by two points to +4 in January, while a comparable index by YouGov and the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) rose by 0.1 points to 113.

GfK also said that its major purchase index – an indicator of whether people think it is the right time to make major purchases – went up by nine points to +16.

“UK consumers remain resiliently bullish this month, with no sign of the January blues denting their view on the state of their personal finances for both the past year and also for the rest of 2016,” said Joe Staton, head of market dynamics at GfK.

YouGov/CEBR said its research painted a “cautiously optimistic” picture, with January’s figure of 113 following broadly flat scores of 113.1 in November and 112.9 in December.

Scott Corfe, director at CEBR, said: “The recent stutters in financial markets have not yet dented overall consumer confidence. People seem to have adopted a “wait and see” approach to their own personal financial situations.”

But there were caviats from both pieces of research.

Stephen Harmston, head of YouGov reports, warned that the rise in consumer confidence is hinged on the property market.

“Should the forecast economic slowdown affect the property sector in the UK in coming year we could see the whole situation change for the worse rapidly,” he said.

Meanwhile, GfK surveyed people’s feelings towards the broader general economic situation over the last 12 months and over the next 12 months, which went up two points to -3 and one point to -5 respectively.

“Consumers remain pessimistic with these two components of the index still in negative territory,” added Staton.

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