The easing of COVID-19 restrictions has boosted the national mood as consumer confidence has regained all of the ground lost due to the pandemic.
GfK’s long-running Consumer Confidence Index increased six points to -9 in May. Joe Staton of GfK confirmed: “The financial mood of the nation has bounced back to its pre-lockdown figure of minus 9 this month, meaning confidence has made up all the ground lost to COVID-19.
“UK consumer confidence is being driven by continued optimism for our future personal finances and for the wider UK economy in the next 12 months. The measure for the ‘economy next year’ has recorded a huge 15-point jump this month and, since January, has leapt from -44 to +4. These findings reflect April’s ‘feelgood’ re-opening of outdoor pubs, shops, gyms and hairdressers, combined with continuing vaccination success.
“In addition, we’re seeing a healthy five-point uptick in the major purchase index, with more consumers seizing the opportunity to splash the ‘accidental savings’ that some have collected. Growing confidence is fuelling the economy and only a reversal to lockdown can dampen this solid momentum.”
The measure for the general economic situation of the country during the last 12 months is up ten points at -48; this is seven higher than in May 2020. Expectations for the general economic situation over the coming 12 months have improved by 15 points to +4: 58 points higher than May 2020.
The Major Purchase Index has increased by five points to -7 in May; 40 points higher than it was this month last year.
According to data from Barclaycard Payments, revenues at hospitality venues in the first week of indoor reopening rose by 43 Percent with sales at pubs and bars up by 162 percent. ONS figures show that 10 percent of companies’ workers were furloughed, down from 20 percent in January. The ONS also found that 83 percent of businesses are trading with a further 5 percent on course to reopen by the first week in June which if accurate will represent a new pandemic high.