UK consumer confidence drops, despite Covid vaccine rollout

22 Jan 2021

The coronavirus vaccine rollout in the UK has not boosted consumer confidence during the latest lockdown, according to the results of a survey.

The consumer confidence index from researcher GfK declined two points to -28 this month, following a marginal rise over the festive season.

The Covid pandemic has hit the UK economy particularly hard, with the Bank of England last week cautioning the country may face a double-dip recession.

As it stands, GDP is 8.5% under its pre-pandemic high, with January recording the first monthly drop in output registered since the first nationwide lockdown in April 2020, City AM reports.

The poll carried out by GfK reveals consumers in Britain became more negative regarding their finances over the coming year.

Despite the coronavirus vaccine rollout being the light at the end of the tunnel according to the government, it failed to generate widespread optimism in terms of the economy.
Consumers who took part in the survey said they felt more pessimistic about the economic situation as a whole this month compared to December, with confidence in the economy at record-low levels.
Joe Staton, GfK’s client strategy director, said this latest consumer confidence poll made for “grim reading”.
“Despite the widespread anticipation of a ‘return to normal’ with the ramp-up of the vaccination programme, it is too early to deliver a jolt in the arm to UK consumer confidence,” he added.
However, Staton went on to say that a slight increase in optimism over consumers’ personal financial situation over the next year would be the “real key” for any economic rally.
“Confidence in this figure reflects our financial hopes and fears, as well as those of our families and loved ones, and it seems to be holding up. That’s just as well because, amid widespread uncertainty over jobs and livelihoods, any decline in how we see our personal finances in the year to come would be a clear warning that the economic outlook will not improve any time soon.”