Consumer confidence rises as nearly every measure sees improvement

Christien PhebyContent Manager
March 28, 2023, 11:41 PM GMT+0

  • Consumer confidence increased by 2.1 points in February 2023
  • Business activity measures for the past 30 days (+2.4) and next 12 months (+4.6) increase
  • Short-term (+2.0) and long-term (+3.0) house price measures saw rises

  • Retrospective job security (+3.1) jumps, although outlook stagnates (+0.1)

Good times, for a change? Well, we might not go that far. But consumer confidence increased from 98.3 to 100.4 (+2.1) in February 2023, according to the latest analysis from YouGov and the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr), amid positive movement across almost every measure.

It paints a radically different picture from February 2022, when household finance metrics took an historic nosedive thanks to the impending rise in the UK’s energy price cap.

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.

The picture is not quite as rosy from a cost-of-living perspective. Short-term household finance measures inched up from 68.0 to 68.4 (+0.4), while outlook jumped only a little more from 67.4 to 68.1 (+0.7). While both measures have had months without negative movement (four for the short-term measure; six for outlook) and the most recent scores suggest a broadly upward trajectory – coming amid news that inflation is slowing – opinion for both remains dour overall.

But on the corporate and employee levels, things are looking better than before. Business activity measures for the past 30 days rose from 107.6 to 109.0 (+2.4), while outlook rose from 115.6 to 120.2 (+4.6). Perceptions of job security also improved from 91.2 to 94.4 (+3.2) in the short-term, although – going from 116.4 to 116.5 – outlook did not see much movement (+0.1).

House price measures, which track whether homeowners believe the values of their properties has increased or not, also saw an uptick. Perceptions for the past 30 days saw an improvement of 2.0 points, from 110.4 to 112.4, while those for the next 12 months saw an improvement of 3.0 points from 110.9 to 113.9.