UK consumer confidence lifts at end of 2019

retail health

UK consumer confidence rose at the end of last year, signalling a more optimistic start to the new year.

Consumer confidence in the fourth quarter rose 0.5 per cent to minus 8.7 per cent compared to the previous quarter and 2018. 

Sentiment on the overall state of the economy jumped 27 percentage points on the previous quarter, according to the latest research by Deloitte.

Year-on-year confidence around career progression and job opportunities fell three percentage points to minus six per cent, but job security sentiment strengthened by three points to minus five per cent.

Businesses are alsos more optimistic about hiring intentions over the next 12 months, reaching a four-year high in the fourth quarter.

Deloitte chief economist Ian Steward said: “Consumers enter the new decade with significantly improved confidence, though expectations of a slowdown in the employment rate and in real earnings growth could produce headwinds.

“However, if the reduced political uncertainty results in a strong rebound in corporate activity in 2020, such headwinds may not materialise.”

Ben Perkins, head of consumer research, added: “While consumers appear much more optimistic about their own personal finances, this has yet to be reflected in consumer spending.

“Online continues to show strong growth, but retailers across the board are looking to attract new customers as well as retain their loyal base in 2020.

“Opportunities are likely to be found through continued investment in both online and in-store experiences.”