April 23rd, 2024, Christien Pheby

March 2024: Consumer confidence falls for the first time in seven months

  • Overall index declines for first time since July 2023 (-0.7) 
  • Confidence in retrospective (-0.5) and forward-looking (-2.8) household finance measures deteriorates
  • Outlook for business activity slumps (-3.8) 
  • Workers felt less secure in their jobs over the past 30 days (-1.3) 

Consumer confidence broke a seven-month streak of increases in March 2024, according to the latest data from YouGov and the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr). The index declined from 107.7 to 107.0 (-0.7), thanks largely to decreases in household finance, business activity, and job security metrics. 

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.

In last month’s consumer confidence tracker, we pondered whether the Spring Budget might have an impact on attitudes around household finances. Our data shows a decline in retrospective measures from 87.7 to 87.2 (-0.5), and – for the first time in seven months – a deterioration in outlook, which fell from 95.0 to 92.2 (-2.8). 

These weren’t the only measures to fall. Workers were less optimistic about their job security over the past 30 days, with scores falling from 97.1 to 95.8 (-1.3), while outlook for this metric stagnated, with scores moving from 115.9 to 116.0 (+0.1). Over the past month, employees also showed a little more optimism around business activity at their workplaces, with measures rising from 109.8 to 110.2 (+0.4), but scores for the next 12 months fell from 124.2 to 120.4 (-3.8). 

Homeowners had the only broadly positive story among the groups we track. Retrospective scores saw little movement from 110.3 to 110.4 (+0.1), but outlook improved from 121.7 to 123.6 (+1.9).