January 2024 was a mixed bag for consumer confidence
February 22nd, 2024, Christien Pheby

January 2024 was a mixed bag for consumer confidence

  • Overall index rises (+0.3)
  • Job security measures for the past 30 days (-0.5) and next 12 months (-2.4) decline
  • Retrospective household finance measures decline (-0.6), but outlook improves (+2.0)
  • Confidence in recent house prices (+1.9) improves, as does outlook (+2.0)

Consumer confidence rose in January 2024 – just. While the overall index saw improvements from 105.8 to 106.1 (+0.3) according to the latest research from YouGov and the Centre for Economics & Business Research, individual metrics tell a more complicated story.

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 on their forecast for the coming 12 months.

The data shows that homeowners saw the biggest improvements in overall mood. Retrospective measures improved from 106.7 to 108.6 (+1.9), while outlook rose from 117.5 to 119.5 (+2.0). We can perhaps reasonably attribute this to an uptick in house prices in January 2024, which – according to some reports – saw the largest increase since January 2023.

Few other consumer groups were as straightforwardly optimistic. Workers, for example, were less confident in their job security over the past 30 days, with scores falling from 95.7 to 95.2 (-0.5), while perceptions for the next 12 months fell from 118.6 to 116.2 (-2.4).

Employees painted a more mixed picture of business activity, however. While retrospective scores saw a +1.0 boost from 107.8 to 108.8, outlook deteriorated -0.7 points from 122.4 to 121.7 (-0.7). Household finance measures over the past 30 days also crept down from 86.4 to 85.8 (-0.6), although outlook rose from 91.1 to 93.1 (+2.0): the highest score since August 2021.