Consumer confidence up amid increasing optimism in the economy

Consumer confidence has seen its third monthly increase since March bolstered by increasing optimism about the economy, a survey suggests.

GfK’s long-running Consumer Confidence Index rose by three points in June as it made its slow climb out of negative territory to minus 14.

The increase was driven by a seven-point improvement in confidence in the general economic situation during the last 12 months to minus 32, and a six-point rise in expectations for the economy over the coming year to minus 11.

The Major Purchase Index, an indicator of confidence in buying big ticket items, was up three points to minus 23, two points higher than this time last year.

However the forecast for personal finances over the next 12 months is down three points to positive four, which is five points higher than last June.

Joe Staton, client strategy director at GfK, said: “Once again we have an improved reading for the overall index score with June showing a three-point improvement bolstered by consumers’ more sympathetic view of the economy for the last year and the 12 months to come.

“While June’s reading of minus 14 is the third month in a row that confidence has increased, the headline score remains negative owing to the difficulties so many have experienced as the unrelenting cost-of-living crisis batters household budgets.

“Nevertheless, consumer confidence continues its robust long-term upward trend this month, and has recovered significantly since the record low of minus 49 reached in September 2022.

“Consumers like financial certainty, and this has to be the cornerstone if we are to see confidence break out into positive territory.”