Confidence static as No Deal Brexit looms

August 07, 2019, 10:33 AM GMT+0

  • Consumer confidence remained static month-on-month at 105.1 in July
  • Leave voters more optimistic than Remainers on business activity and house prices

A new Prime Minister is in place and yet No Deal Brexit seems more and more likely as time passes. Amid this uncertainty the latest analysis from YouGov and the Centre for Economics and Business Research shows that consumer confidence stayed static at 105.1 throughout June and July.

While any score over 100 means more consumers are confident than unconfident, the index is still notably below its pre-referendum level.

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.

Five of the constituent metrics which make up the overall confidence measure rose during July, while three were down.

Sentiment on business activity over the last month dropped slightly from 107.7 in June to 106.5, but the outlook for the coming year rose 2.1 points to 114.0. Interestingly, the score for the next 12 months among Remain voters was 110.9 while Leavers are far more optimistic, with a score ten full points higher at 119.9.

Confidence on house values over the last month was down from 112.1 to 110.6, and expectations for the coming year also dropped from 119.2 to 116.0. Just 12 months ago the overall score for the UK was a far more buoyant 131.9. Similarly to business activity, we see far more optimism here among Leave voters than Remain, with separated scores coming to 105.9 and 130.0 respectively.

There are other notable differences between the Leave and Remain camps. For example, Remain voters expect general goods and services prices to rise by 5% in the coming year, while Leavers expects to see just a 3.3% rise.

Perhaps the starkest difference appears when we ask about confidence in the Government's handling of the economy. Only 42% of Remainers are confident in their strategy and actions, while this rises to 75.2% of Leavers.

Oliver Rowe, Director of Reputation Research at YouGov, said:

“Although we have seen some improvements, we are still some way off the levels of confidence seen before the EU referendum and the general public is waiting for some stability and predictability to return. Despite this, there are signs of optimism, particularly among those who voted Leave in 2016.”


Nina Skero, Director at the Centre for Economics and Business Research, said:

“With consumer confidence holding steady in July, by far the most interesting insight from this month’s YouGov/Cebr Consumer Confidence Index is the difference in sentiment between those who voted to leave the EU and those who voted to remain. Leavers are more enthusiastic about business activity and house price prospects, while also voicing a greater degree of confidence in the Government’s handling of the economy. As the Brexit process enters a crucial phase in the coming months, maintaining consumer confidence will be vital as optimistic consumers can go a long way in boosting economic growth.”


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