Survey Reveals Consumer Confidence in the UK Slightly Boosted by Wage Growth and Progress in Brexit Talks

By Mtaylor848 (Own work) via Wikimedia Commons

A survey reveals that this month, consumers in the United Kingdom became slightly more confident as compared to what they were last February, boosted by the possibility of wages inching higher, inflation slightly easing and the progress that is being made on the negotiations regarding Brexit.

The UK consumer confidence index of the GfK increased to a score of minus seven (7) for March, which was up from a score of minus ten (10) last February and minus nine (9) last January.

The monthly questionnaire has been running since 1974. It examines how the consumers rate their personal financial situation and the general economic situation over the past 12 months and over the coming twelve months. The questionnaire also takes into account how likely the consumers are to make a major purchase.

The index for March rose for all the five measures. The biggest increase was observed in the way that the respondents anticipate their personal financial situation to unfold over the coming year.

Joe Staton of GfK said: “Spring is in the air with increases across the board on personal finances, the general economy – over the last year and next year – and on current major purchase intention.”

He added: “The prospect of wage rises finally outstripping declining inflation, high levels of employment with low-level interest rates, and finally some movement on the Brexit front appear to have boosted our spirits.

“It’s still a little early to be talking about green-shoots, and the core score is of course still negative, but this is definitely a movement in the right direction. Consumers are feeling a tiny spring in their step – let’s see next month if April showers dampen the mood.”

Data that was published earlier this month revealed that wages increased at their fastest rate in over two years last January.

It was reported by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) that the total average weekly earnings in the three months to January were up by 2.8 percent year-on-year, the fastest rate of growth that was registered since September of 2015.

Last January, the consumer price inflation was at 3 percent, meaning that the real wages still dropped during that month. However, the inflation has eased back since then.