The monthly UK Consumer Confidence Barometer (CCB) undertaken by GfK on behalf of the European Commission* dropped by 2 points between June and July to -12. A year ago the measure was also -12, having slumped by 11 points following the Brexit vote.
Confidence is down in 5 of the 6 regions. Only in Northern Ireland, buoyed by the promise of more money following the agreement with the DUP, is confidence higher, jumping 20 points to -4. Biggest falls in sentiment are in Wales,10 points lower at -18, and in the North down,8 points to -15.
Sentiment fell 3 points in Scotland to -22 and 1 point in the Midlands to -11 and the South to -9.
Of the 5 measures comprising the headline measure:
• The financial situation of households over the past 12 months is 1 point lower at -2 compared to June, and a year ago
• The expected financial situation of households over the next 12 months is down 2 points on the month at -2 and 1 point below a year ago (-1)
• The general economic situation measure over the past 12 months slumped by 6 points to -31 compared to June; and is also 6 points down on July 2016
• The general economic situation measure in the coming 12 months shed 5 points on the month to -28, but is up 5 points on 12 months ago (-33) following the Brexit vote
• The measure of consumer sentiment to making major purchases in the current economic situation is down 2 points on the month at –1, but 1 point higher than in July 2016
The survey also asks other questions about spending and saving. Expected spending on major purchases (such as furniture or electrical goods) in the next 12 months compared with the previous 12 months edged up 1 point on the month to -7 and is 5 points higher than 12 months ago (-12)
Peoples’ perception of the saving climate is up 1 point in July. 46% of adults regard it as a good time to save, up from 44% a year ago. 53% of households are currently saving, 2 points lower on the month and 4 points down on a year ago. In the next 12 months 55% of adults say they are likely to save, down 1 point on June, and 3 points lower than a year ago (58%). Household’s overall financial position (23) deteriorated in July, 2 points down on June, and down 4 points on a year ago.
The jobs outlook is a little better in July. The measure of unemployment expectations is at +18, 2 points up on the month and 6 points better than 12 months ago (+24). A higher score represents rising unemployment expectations. A net balance of 25% of adults (27%, June) believes unemployment will rise in the next 12 months (33% July 2016). The measure of inflation expectations (89) is unchanged in July, 6 points worse than a year ago (83).