Consumer confidence improves, but workers are less optimistic about their job prospects
October 16th, 2023, Christien Pheby

Consumer confidence improves, but workers are less optimistic about their job prospects

  • Consumer confidence slightly increased (+0.3)
  • Retrospective (+1.1) household finance measures and outlook (+1.5) both increased
  • House price measures for the short-term (+2.1) and for the year ahead (+2.1) improved
  • Job security measures for the past 30 days increased (+1.1), but outlook declined (-5.5)

Consumer confidence increased from 100.7 to 101.0 (+0.3) in September 2023: a month of – job security measures aside – mostly undramatic movements. 

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.

Employee-focused measures saw the most significant changes in September: while retrospective job security scores among UK workers increased from 91.9 to 93.0 (+1.1), outlook deteriorated from 123.7 to 118.2: a fall of 5.5 points altogether, and the largest month-on-month decline on record. We should put this in the context of the previous month, which saw outlook rise by 7.5 points (the largest increase on record) – the “fall” may simply be a calming moment after an unusually optimistic August – but it is possible that stories about possible and actual redundancies and collapses at brands such as Wilko have also influenced attitudes.

Business activity metrics were also a mixed bag. While retrospective scores jumped from 105.4 to 108.3 (+2.9), measures for the year ahead slumped from 119.5 to 117.7 (-1.8). And while both home value measures declined in August, they have rebounded in September: with short-term measures rising from 99.9 to 101.0 (+1.1) and outlook improving from 106.8 to 108.9 (+2.1).

Finally, household finance measures saw modest improvements, with scores for the past 30 days rising from 78.7 to 79.8 (+1.1) and scores for the next 12 months rising from 79.4 to 80.9 (+1.4).