Danny McCance 31 Jul 2019 11:24am

Consumers “marginally more bullish” in Brexit build up

The GfK Consumer Confidence Index increased two points to -11 in July, ahead of the looming October Brexit deadline

The last time the index was higher was in May, when it increased to -10 – a minor break in the “new normal” established by the stubbornly-negative index over the past months.

“Pre-Brexit consumers are marginally more bullish this month, with improvements in levels of confidence across most measures,” said Joe Staton, client strategy director at GfK.

Consumers’ perceptions of their personal finance over the coming year increased by two points to 7, while perceptions of the general economic situation over the following 12 months rose one point to -32.

There was a six-point increase in the major purchase index, which Staton said “mirrors the ongoing resilience in consumer spending” – a “key driver of economic growth” that defies recent forecasts of gloomy UK growth.

 Although consumers have been generally less affected than businesses in the wake of the referendum, Staton said, “the coming months to the 31 October departure date will test the strength of this confidence”.

Last month, despite ongoing uncertainty caused by Brexit, reports found that the UK economy was proving to be more resilient than expected.