UK Consumer Confidence Recovery Slows in April
By Xavier Fontdegloria
Consumer confidence in the UK increased for the third straight
month in April but to a much lesser degree than the previous
months, signalling that Britons remain cautious about the pandemic
and its economic consequences.
Market-research firm GfK's consumer-confidence barometer stood
at minus 15 in April, up one point from the previous month. The
reading marks a new pandemic high, but the on-month increase is
much lower than the seven-point hike registered in March and
February's five-point rise.
After months at severely depressed levels, British consumers'
mood improved significantly from February amid a swift Covid-19
vaccination campaign and reopening plans, gaining back some of the
ground lost at the beginning of the pandemic. In March 2020, before
British consumers felt the hit from the pandemic, the index stood
at minus 9.
"Confidence has edged up one point in April with consumers
taking a more guarded view on the future," GfK's client strategy
director Joe Staton said. The improvement in the consumer mood
since January is welcome but the pandemic has hit household
finances hard and concerns over new variants, rising inflation and
the debt overhang could be seen on the road ahead, he said.
Among the five measures that make up the consumer-confidence
barometer, three of them increased, one decreased and one remained
flat, the data showed.
Economic expectations for the coming year increased six points
to minus 11 following sharp rises in both February and March
surveys. The outlook for personal finances was unchanged from the
previous month at 10 points, a three-year high.
"This clear trend of growing confidence reflects the forecast of
a rebound for our economy during the second half of the year," Mr.
As the recovery gains momentum, confident consumers will
continue to spend and drive the wheels of U.K. finances into the
summer and beyond, he said.
The survey, carried out by GfK, polled around 2,000 individuals
between April 1 and 13. Therefore, its results didn't fully capture
the effect of the reopening of nonessential retailers and outdoor
dining venues in England, which started from April 12.
Write to Xavier Fontdegloria at email@example.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
April 23, 2021 03:14 ET (07:14 GMT)
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