A happy new year for consumer confidence?
January 31st, 2024, Christien Pheby

A happy new year for consumer confidence?

  • Overall consumer confidence improved +1.6 points in December
  • Perceptions of household finances in the short-term rose (+3.0), as did outlook (+3.4)
  • House price measures for the past 30 days (+2.1) and next 12 months (+3.3) improved
  • Retrospective job security (-0.8) and business activity (-1.5) declined

Consumer confidence rose for the fifth month in a row thanks to improvements in household finance and home value metrics, according to the latest analysis from YouGov and the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr). Scores for the overall index increased from 104.2 to 105.8 (+1.6) in December 2023.

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.

The most significant improvements we saw last month were in household finance measures, which have now seen five months of gains. Scores for the past 30 days rose from 83.4 to 86.4 (+3.0), while scores for the next 12 months rose from 87.9 to 91.1 (+3.2). Both measures remain negative overall, but the retrospective score is at its highest since September 2021, while outlook has hit its highest level since August 2021.

Among homeowners, house price measures improved from 104.6 to 106.7 (+2.1) in the short-term, while measures for the year ahead improved from 114.2 to 117.5 (+3.3). This falls in line with recent reports from major mortgage lenders that house prices had seen a recovery in the past few months.

Employee-focused metrics were more of a mixed bag. For job security, retrospective scores fell from 96.5 to 95.7 (-0.8), while outlook jumped from 116.9 to 118.6 (+1.7). Business activity measures for the short term – perhaps reflecting the seasonal slowdown in December – declined from 109.3 to 107.8 (-1.5), but attitudes for the year ahead have improved from 121.1 to 122.4 (+1.3).