Consumer confidence stumbles as house price fears grow

October 01, 2018, 8:41 AM GMT+0

  • House value measures fall to their lowest point since 2013
  • Five of eight measures decline in September

UK consumer confidence has stumbled in September, falling to its lowest level in six months, analysis from YouGov and the Centre for Economics and Business Research finds.

The latest analysis shows that the YouGov/Cebr Consumer Confidence Index stands at 107.7 this month – down from 109.0 in August. The last time it was near this level was in March, when it stood at 107.6. While any score over 100 means more consumers are confident than unconfident, it is still notably below where it was before the EU referendum in 2016.

YouGov collects consumer confidence data every day, conducting over 6,000 interviews a month. Respondents are asked 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 data shows that while three measures have improved this month, five have fallen. The two most notable declines have come in the house price scores where both the forward-and backward looking measures have fallen to their lowest level since 2013. Every measure that looks ahead to the next 12 months has declined, while the three that have improved are all looking back over the past 30 days – business activity, household finances and job security.

The fact that all forward looking measures of consumer confidence have declined is undoubtedly linked to the ongoing Brexit negotiations and the fact that just months before the UK is due to exit the EU there is no deal in place. This has made consumers sceptical about what lies ahead, casting doubt over future business activity, job security, household finances as well as home values. Once more clarity regarding post-Brexit arrangements is provided, confidence is very likely to bounce back, but for the time being, it sits at its lowest value in six months.

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