According to the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR), Britain's economy is forecast to grow by 0.7% in 2024. The new prediction for growth next year was much weaker than a forecast for an expansion of 1.8% in the OBR's previous outlook published in March. However, the all-important factor in economic growth is consumer confidence, and it is on the rise.
“Consumer confidence strengthened in November with improvements across all measures. Encouraging news about falling inflation and wage growth is offset by high personal taxation, alongside costly fuel and energy bills. Although the Overall Index Score is still tracking firmly in negative territory, it is good to see that consumers are more optimistic about their personal financial situation. This shows people are thinking about their future with increased confidence and willingness to look beyond the short-term.”
All of this according to Joe Staton, Client Strategy Director at GfK, who publishes the long-running consumer confidence survey in the UK that is often in the media.
The Overall Index Score increased six points to -24 in November. All five measures were up in comparison to last month’s announcement.
Personal Financial Situation – at -16; it was eight points better than November 2022. At the same time, the forecast for personal finances over the next 12 months increased five points to -3, which is 26 points higher than this time last year.
General Economic Situation - the measure for the country's general economic situation during the last 12 months is up five points at -49; this is 18 points higher than in November 2022. Expectations for the general economic situation over the next 12 months have increased by six points to -26; this is 32 points better than November 2022.
Major Purchase Index - up 10 points to -24; this is 14 points higher than this month last year.
Consumers are not alone in feeling more upbeat; UK employers' confidence about making hiring decisions and investments improved by one point from August to October 2023 to net +6, according to the most recent Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) JobsOutlook.
Just what we need: a little positivity as we head into 2024.
Chris Rowthorn, Motor Sales Operations Director