Consumer confidence back in positive territory
May 12th, 2023, Christien Pheby

Consumer confidence back in positive territory

  • Overall index rises in April (+1.9) after falling in March
  • Every metric sees improvement except retrospective house price measures (-2.4)
  • Household finance metrics for the past 30 days (+4.2) and next 12 months (+4.6) improve once more

  • Perceptions of job security over the last month (+3.5) and year ahead (+1.0) both get better

Consumer confidence improved in April following a brief dip into negativity in March, according to the latest data from YouGov and the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr). The overall index jumped by 1.9 points, from 99.4 to 101.3.

YouGov collects consumer confidence data every day, conducting over 6,000 interviews a month. Respondents answer questions about household finances, property prices, job security, and business activity, capturing their views on the past 30 days and looking ahead to the next 12 months.

Almost every measure tracked by the index increased compared to its performance in March. The most significant jumps were in household finance metrics: those tracking perceptions over the past 30 days jumped from 69.6 to 73.8 (+4.2), while outlook rose even higher, from 70.9 to 75.5 (+4.6). These are still overall negative scores, but represent a meaningful improvement compared to a year ago, when measures for the past 30 days plummeted to 56.7 and 48.3 respectively. The cost-of-living crisis continues to bite – but with sentiment towards household finances gradually improving over the past six months, the public may be getting used to it.

Other metrics also rose. Retrospective job security measures jumped from 91.3 to 94.8 (+3.5), while outlook increased from 115.3 to 116.4 (+1.1) – suggesting workers feel more secure in their roles than they did a month previous. They’re also noticing improvements in business activity: these measures increased from 106.2 to 108.4 (+2.2) for the past 30 days, and from 118.4 to 120.2 (+1.8) for the next 12 months.

So incremental improvements all around, with the exception of our house price measures. Homeowners’ perceptions of their property values deteriorated from 110.5 to 108.1 (-2.4), while outlook stagnated, inching up from 113.2 to 113.4 (+0.2). House prices reportedly rose in April after seven months in decline, but it seems this is yet to register with the nation’s homeowners.