Consumer confidence increases as UK homeowners grow more pessimistic
October 3rd, 2023, Christien Pheby

Consumer confidence increases as UK homeowners grow more pessimistic

  • Overall index rises +0.7 points
  • Household finance measures for the past 30 days (+2.4) and next 12 months (+3.1) improve, while remaining negative
  • Homeowners more likely to perceive that their property values deteriorated in the past 30 days (-4.8), and that it will deteriorate in the next 12 months (-1.0) 
  • Retrospective job security measures fall (-1.5), but outlook improves (+7.5)

Consumer confidence saw a slight improvement in August 2023, according to the latest analysis from YouGov and the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) – rising from 100.0 to 100.7 (+0.7). 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, both over the past 30 days and looking ahead to the next 12 months. 

If Britons are more optimistic than they were last month, this positivity has not been evenly distributed. The mood among homeowners soured further in August: measures for the past 30 days fell by -4.8 points from 104.7 to 99.9 (the first time they have been in negative territory since July 2020, at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic) while outlook fell by a point from 107.8 to 106.8. Looking at recent headlines, it’s none too surprising: Halifax, for example, recently reported a decline in the average property price of 4.6% - the largest year-on-year decrease since 2009

On a more positive note, the public did become more optimistic about their household finances compared to last month: retrospective scores jumped 2.4 points from 76.3 to 78.7 (enough to recover from July’s -2.4 point decline), while scores for the next 12 months improved by 3.1 points from 76.3 to 79.4. The caveat is that these scores are still negative and more so than any other scores in the index.

Other measures were more of a mixed bag. Polling employees, for example, revealed a decline in job security scores of -1.5 points from 93.4 to 91.9 for the past 30 days – and an uptick in outlook of 7.5 points from 116.2 to 123.7, the largest ever jump for this particular measure. 

Employees were more likely to think business activity had declined in the short-term, with scores inching down from 106.7 to 105.4 (-1.3). But perspectives for the next 12 months were mildly positive, increasing from 119.1 to 119.5.