Consumer confidence is continuing to rise against a backdrop of falling inflation – but many households are continuing to struggle with cost-of-living pressures, according to a survey.
GfK’s long-running Consumer Confidence Index increased four points in September, but remains at a subdued minus 21.
Expectations for the UK’s wider economy over the next 12 months saw a robust six-point increase to minus 30, 44 points higher than last September.
Confidence in personal finances for the coming year registered a marginal one-point increase to minus two, which is now 38 points higher than this time last year.
With fewer than 100 shopping days to Christmas, retailers will be relieved to see a four-point boost to the major purchase index, a measure of confidence in big ticket purchases, taking it to minus 20 and 18 points higher than a year ago.
Joe Staton, client strategy director at GfK, said: “Against the backdrop of falling inflation figures, growth in wages and high interest rates, UK consumer confidence rose this month to minus 21, the best recorded showing since January 2022.
“While this month’s improved headline score is good news, it’s important to note many households are still struggling with the cost-of-living crisis and that economic conditions are tough.
“The reality is that consumer confidence remains suppressed, and the financial mood of the nation is still negative.”
This comes after a surprise fall in inflation reported this week by the Office for National Statistics, down to 6.7 per cent.
This encouraged the Bank of England to pause its interest rates hiking cycle on Thursday, offering some much-needed relief.
Press Association – Josie Clarke