Consumer confidence has bounced back to its pre-pandemic level as the easing of restrictions boosted the financial mood of the nation, a long-running survey suggests.
GfK’s Consumer Confidence Index jumped six points to its pre-lockdown figure of minus nine in May, making up all ground lost to Covid 19.
The uptick was driven by continued optimism around future personal finances, now 19 points higher than this time last year, and for the wider UK economy over the next 12 months, which recorded a 15-point jump this month and a 48-point increase since January to positive four, according to the poll.
The major purchase index, an indicator of consumer confidence in buying “big ticket” items, also saw a significant five-point increase to minus seven, 40 points higher than this time last year, thought to have been helped by consumers beginning to spend savings accumulated throughout lockdown.
Joe Staton, client strategy director for GfK, said: “These findings reflect April’s ‘feelgood’ re-opening of outdoor pubs, shops, gyms and hairdressers combined with continuing vaccination success, all this before the possibility of green-list vacation opportunities in May.
“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.
“Now really is a good time to buy.
“Growing confidence is fuelling the economy and only a reversal to lockdown can dampen this solid momentum.”