Consumer confidence has suffered the biggest single drop in a month, according to a survey released by Moneysupermarket today.
According to monthly data collected by the price comparison website, its Consumer Confidence Index, currently stands at 41.63, a drop of over 15 points for February compared to January 2017, and the single biggest monthly drop since the Index started tracking customer behaviour in 2013.
Kevin Pratt, MoneySuperMarket, consumer affairs expert, said: “British households are likely to be anxious on a number of fronts. Many will be worried about the family finances given rising inflation and job concerns, and they may also be worried about uncertainty surrounding the UK economy in the context of the forthcoming Brexit negotiations.”
The findings tally with the views of Rob Wood, chief UK economist, BofAML Global Research who said:
Household’s willingness to keep spending has been vital for the economy over the past year or so.
But the pound’s fall means inflation is rising, especially visible with recent utility price hikes and higher petrol prices, which seems to be increasingly crimping UK consumers’ spending power.
That already seemed to be weighing on their confidence last year but seems to have worsened at the start of this year.
Others were more optimistic. Garry White, chief investment commentator at wealth manager, Charles Stanley, said: “Inflation is certainly on the rise, but what is important for consumer confidence over the rest of the year is how big the squeeze on disposable incomes becomes. We think that it will not be as bad as many observers fear.”