Household Finance Measures Hit Record Low For Third Month In A Row
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The UK’s cost of living crisis has knocked consumer confidence again, according to the latest analysis from YouGov and the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr). As with last month and the month before, a modest fall in the overall index (-1.0) can be explained by a rather more severe decline in household finance measures, which have hit yet another all-time low.
Across other measures, the story is less dramatic. Worker perceptions of retrospective business activity saw a minor bump, increasing to 111.9 (+1.1), but – with higher energy bills giving consumers greater incentive to tighten their belts – outlook has fallen to 121.0 (-2.2.). Both metrics remain positive.
Similarly, house value metrics among the nation’s homeowners for the short-term saw mild improvement (+0.9 – rising to 133.5), while outlook got mildly worse (-1.0 – falling to 137.4).
Job security metrics remained broadly stagnant, increasing from 93.5 to 94.1 (+0.6) for the past 30 days and falling from 120.8 to 120.3 (-0.5) for the next 12 months.
In another of a series of record lows for the metric, short-term household finance measures (past 30 days) dropped by 6 points to 56.7. 12 month outlook also hit an all-time low, inching downwards from 49.1 to 48.3.
YouGov collects consumer confidence data every day, conducting over 6,000 interviews a month. Respondents answer questions about household finances, property prices, job security, and business activity, both over the past 30 days and looking ahead to the next 12 months.
Darren Yaxley, Head of Reputation Research at YouGov: “With the cost-of-living crisis continuing to rumble on, this data suggests that, perhaps unsurprisingly, consumers' household finances are bearing the brunt. While the overall Consumer Confidence Index has fallen – a 1pt drop since March, but a 7.6pt fall since this time last year – our retrospective household finance measure has seen a similar drop over the course of just one month, with the April figure down 6pts since March and a massive 57pts since April 2021. Other metrics such as house value, job security, and business activity remain stable for the time being, but it remains to be seen whether these will experience a similar freefall as the country continues to feel the squeeze.”
Kay Neufeld, Head of Forecasting and Thought Leadership at Cebr: “The YouGov/Cebr Consumer Confidence Index remains in free fall as consumer sentiment now stands at the lowest level in 17 months. The ongoing cost-of-living crisis continues to dominate the outlook with the backward-looking household finances measure falling by 6.0 points to yet another record-low. The fact that the rate of decrease in the forward-looking household finance measure has slowed will be of little consolation as it too found a new record low at 48.3. Worryingly consumers are also becoming less optimistic on the outlook for business activity going forward, which is likely driven by greater anxiety about a potential recession further down the line.”