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Consumers ‘stay calm’ amid Brexit uncertainty – GfK report

UK consumer confidence remains steady in spite of ongoing Brexit uncertainty, according to industry figures.

The latest Growth from Knowledge (GfK) report gave a consumer confidence mark of -13 for April.

The figure was the same as recorded in March and February, with GfK suggesting consumers are “holding firm” in the face of continued Brexit indecision.

The report, released today (April 30), also revealed consumers’ overall attitude around the future economic situation has improved marginally, with April’s score of -34 better than the -36 and -38 recorded in March and February, respectively.

However, there were areas where the report highlighted caution, notably around its major purchase index, which decreased two points to -1 – four points lower than April 2018 – and its savings index, which fell eight points to +12.

It added people’s personal finance expectations also dipped slightly.

Joe Staton, GfK client strategy director, said: “We have reported a -13 headline for the past three months and it appears it’s a case of ‘Keep Calm’ when it comes to how confident consumers are feeling right now.

“Despite political carry-on in the Westminster bubble with the clock ticking on Britain’s eventual departure from the EU, consumers are holding firm and remain unshaken by the daily headlines of turmoil and intrigue, although we remain in negative territory.

“This month we see a dip in the measures for our personal financial situation – both looking back a year and ahead to the coming year – but this is balanced by a small increase in our perspective on the state of the UK economy.

“The further two-point drop in our measure on major purchases suggests more challenges in the near future at least for the retail sector. GfK

“The biggest change is a sudden drop in the motivation to save money – this is down by eight points – and represents the largest monthly drop in our savings measure since after the Brexit referendum in June 2016.”