Consumer confidence falls for the first time in 2023

Christien PhebyContent Manager
April 25, 2023, 2:28 AM GMT+0

  • Consumer confidence declined for the first time since October (-1-points)
  • All measures deteriorated except short-term (+1.2) and forward-looking (+2.8) household finance metrics
  • Short-term job security (-3.0) and business activity (-2.8) saw the most significant falls

After months of steady improvement, consumer confidence fell from 100.4 to 99.4 (-1) in March 2023, according to the latest analysis from YouGov and the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr).

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.

Almost every measure we track dropped in March, with the happy exception of those forward-looking household financial situations. Scores for household finances in the past 30 days increased from 68.4 to 69.6 (+1.2) – the fifth successive month of improvements – while those for the next 12 months rose for the seventh month running, jumping from 68.1 to 70.9 (+2.8).

It’s necessary to caveat these improvements (these scores are still emphatically negative) but the overall trend is positive, especially compared to this time last year (when short-term measures were at 62.6 and outlook was at 49.1).

Otherwise, this month’s index was decidedly pessimistic. Job security measures for the past 30 days fell from 94.4 to 91.3 (-3.1), while outlook fell from 116.5 to 115.3 (-1.2).

Business activity measures tell a similar story in the short term, where they declined from 109.0 to 106.2 (-2.8), and the longer-term, where they declined from 120.2 to 118.4 (-1.8).

Retrospective measures tracking home values dropped from 112.4 to 110.5 (-1.9), while outlook declined even more from 113.9 to 113.2 (-0.7).

The public’s dwindling optimism in March 2023 may reflect increasingly dour economic mood in the UK – which, according to the IMF, is set to be the worst-performing large economy in the world this year.