UK consumer confidence lingered near historic lows in October

Published Fri, Oct 21, 2022 · 09:08 AM

THE cost-of-living crisis and an ailing UK economy kept consumer confidence at near historic lows in October, spelling trouble for businesses already suffering from weakening demand.

GfK’s measure of sentiment rose 2 points to minus 47 on October, near the lowest level since records started in 1974. Readings on the outlook for household finances and the health of the UK economy remain historically weak.

The survey took place in the 10 days through Oct 13, the day before Prime Minister Liz Truss fired Chancellor of the Exchequer Kwasi Kwarteng and started reversing some of his stimulus programme. Truss herself said yesterday she’d step aside.

GfK’s research covered a period of turmoil in the UK gilt market - following Truss’s failed growth plan on Sep 23 - which had knock-on effects on homeowners’ mortgages.

“Mortgage rates and rents, and energy price uncertainty after the winter, are significant cost concerns that will play on the minds of many consumers over the coming months,” said Linda Ellett, UK head of retail and leisure consumer markets at KPMG.

Intentions among consumers to spend on larger items like furniture or electrical goods fell again in October, which GfK said could precipitate further economic slowdown and hurt business profits in the final quarter of the year. BLOOMBERG

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