UK consumer confidence sinks to record low in February

| March 18, 2011 | 1 Comment
”UK

The latest survey from the Nationwide Building Society has revealed a severe decline in UK consumer confidence for the month of February.

The building society’s consumer confidence index plunged to 38 in February - a fall of 10 points and the lowest level since records began in May 2004.

The latest fall means confidence is lower than at any time during the recession and way below the index average of 81.

Economists had expected a reading of around 48 - similar to January’s level.

Commenting on the report, Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s chief economist, said: “The UK recovery remains sluggish and there was little positive news in February to give consumers a much needed boost. Furthermore, news that the economy shrank in the final quarter of 2010 will have done nothing to lift already dampened spirits.”

Meanwhile, the consumers’ future expectations index also fell, by 14 points to 50, while the present situation index dipped 3 notches to 20 - an 18-month low.

The Nationwide report comes just a day after the Bank of England’s quarterly survey revealed Britons now expect inflation to be 4% over the coming year - the highest rate predicted since August 2008.

The surveys are published just a few days before Chancellor George Osborne presents his Budget, who will now face pressure to deliver a much-needed boost for consumers.

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  1. Dan O'Neil says:

    Interesting to see what they now think following the budget! Presumably there’s more maths to consumer confidence than simply it being an indication of how secure people on the streets actually feel about their money? Call me cynical, but I feel that the more information we give the public about how they don’t feel secure financially, the worse it is going to get. If someone published a document proving there would be a boom in the next two weeks, then people might rush out and spend their money and get the thing moving again…

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