The data comes ahead of an important few months for retailers
Consumer confidence has dropped for the third month in a row in a worrying turn for retailers in the build-up to Christmas.
GfK’s long-running Consumer Confidence Index fell four points to minus 17 in October against a backdrop of surging inflation and the likelihood of interest rate rises.
The sharpest concern is how consumers see the future economy, with this collapsing 10 points this month in a repeat of September’s figure.
Confidence in personal finances for the next 12 months fell four points to one while the major purchase index – an indication of the confidence in spending on big ticket items – also fell four points to minus 10.
Joe Staton, client strategy director at GfK, said: “After six months of robust recovery in the first half of 2021, UK consumer confidence has taken a turn for the worse with all vital signs weakening.
“Against a backdrop of cheerless domestic news – fuel and food shortages, surging inflation squeezing household budgets, the likelihood of interest rate rises impacting the cost of borrowing, and climbing Covid rates – it is not surprising that consumers are feeling down-in-the mouth about the chilly winter months ahead.
“Worryingly for British retailing in the run-up to Christmas, there’s a further decline in the intention to make major purchases. The financial mood of the nation has changed and consumers could do with some strong tonic to lift their spirits.”