Confidence ‘pretty robust’ despite tumultuous year

Signs of a 'slow creep' in inflation
Signs of a 'slow creep' in inflation

Consumer confidence is “pretty robust” given the tumult of the past 12 months but the creep of inflation is starting to be seen the general economy and shoppers’ wallets, according to a survey.

Confidence fell by one point in December to 108.1, its lowest level since July in the immediate aftermath of the EU referendum, the latest data from YouGov and the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) shows.

Each of the eight individual metrics covering household finances, property prices, job security and business activity that comprise the index fell, the first time this has happened since the month following the Brexit vote.

Stephen Harmston, head of YouGov Reports, said: “Consumer confidence is three points lower now than it was at the start of 2016, which is a pretty robust performance given the tumult of the past 12 months.

“However, when you look at the details it is clear that expectations for both property prices and household finances have declined notably over the course of the year, in both instances suffering their biggest yearly declines since 2010.

“Consumer sentiment has evidently taken a hit this year.”

Cebr director Scott Corfe said: “The tail end of the year has seen steady house prices, a low unemployment rate, and solid consumer spending.

“While this performance defies many doom-mongers, the slow creep of inflation is starting to be both seen in the economy at large and felt in consumers’ wallets throughout the country.

“Despite things being better than many expected, looking ahead to 2017 there is a feeling that a slight slowdown is on the way.”