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Despite confidence knock, consumers ready to spend big money

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Although the company’s consumer index figure has slipped to -1 from it’s previous +1 in August, GfK states that there has been a “period of stability over the past five months” that has seen it fluctuate by only two points.

Nick Moon, managing director of social research at GfK, said: “Last month, I speculated that we may be in a new period of stasis for the index, and this month certainly fits into that pattern. There have now been five consecutive months where the index has been at +0 or -2. These figures are within the margins of error one would expect on a sample of this size.

Over the same period, the objective macro-economic indicators have continued, for the most part, to be positive. One possible explanation for this positivity no longer being mirrored in the index is that many people are not feeling any better off despite the growth in GDP, and this may be tempering the impact of positive media coverage of the economy.

“So while consumers are not feeling any better off overall, what can be seen as good news for retailers is the measure for ‘right time for major purchases’ which has shown increases recently and is now the highest it’s been since February 2014.”

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