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‘Green shoots of recovery’ as consumer confidence jumps six points in April

by: Emma Lunn
  • 21/04/2023
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‘Green shoots of recovery’ as consumer confidence jumps six points in April
British consumers were their most upbeat in more than a year this month, prompting hopes of early signs of recovery.

Despite the surging cost of living, people are taking a more positive view of their finances and the health of the wider economy, according to market research firm GfK.

GfK’s long-running Consumer Confidence Index increased six points to -30 in April. All measures were up in comparison to last month’s announcement.

The forecast for personal finances over the next 12 months increased eight points to -13, which is 13 points higher than this time last year.

The measure for the general economic situation of the country during the past 12 months is up seven points at -55; this is five points higher than in April 2022.

Expectations for the general economic situation over the next 12 months have increased by six points to -34; this is 21 points better than April 2022.

The ‘major purchase index’ is up five points to -28; this is four points higher than this month last year. The savings index is down two points this month at +19; this is nine points higher than this time last year.

‘A flowering of optimism’

Joe Staton, client strategy director at GfK, said: “As food and energy prices continue to rise, and inflation eats into wages, the cost-of-living crisis is a painful day-to-day reality for many. But are all consumers buckling under the pressure? On the evidence of April’s confidence figures, the answer is no.

“Instead, there’s a sudden flowering of optimism with big improvements across the board. The eight-point jump in how we see prospects for our personal financial situation is a dramatic change that might suggest household finances are stronger than we thought.

“The brighter views on what the general economy has in store for us, with April’s six-point rise cementing a 20-point improvement since January, could even be seen as the proverbial ‘green shoots of recovery’. Moreover, the major purchase index at -28 is higher than it has been for a year and will bring much-needed cheer to retailers as we head into summer. This is the third month in a row that confidence overall has improved; can we look forward to this momentum building for the year ahead?”

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