UK consumer confidence fell to a fresh record low in August amid surging inflation, according to a survey released on Friday.
GfK’s consumer sentiment index dipped three points from July to -44.0 – the lowest level since records began in 1974.
The index for people’s personal financial situation over the last 12 months declined to -25 in August from -23 the month before, while the same gauge but for the next 12 months fell to -31 from -36.
The index for the general economic situation over the last year dipped to -68 from -66, while the index for the same situation over the next 12 months deteriorated to -60 from -57.
The major purchase index printed at -38 in August, from -34 in July.
Joe Staton, client strategy director at GfK, said: “All measures fell, reflecting acute concerns as the cost-of-living soars. A sense of exasperation about the UK’s economy is the biggest driver of these findings. Our sub-measure on the general economy over the past year has decreased month-on-month since December 2021 – that’s eight months in a row. A similar consistent sharp decline since December 2021 is evident in how consumers see the economy a year ahead and this month’s score of -60 sets a new record.
“These findings point to a sense of capitulation, of financial events moving far beyond the control of ordinary people. With headline after headline revealing record inflation eroding household buying power, the strain on the personal finances of many in the UK is alarming. Just making ends meet has become a nightmare and the crisis of confidence will only worsen with the darkening days of autumn and the colder months of winter.”