Consumer confidence falls in fear of recession



A YouGov and Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) poll has indicated that consumer confidence has hit a five-year low due to fears of a recession by the end of the year.

Worries over the global economy and the impact of Brexit are central in the mind of consumers. The poll revealed that around 75% of participants believed that a recession or deeper depression is looming. On the other hand, only 24% of participants said that the economy would grow, with a following 1% believing that the economy would boom.

The findings of the poll follow official figures which revealed that the economy decreased for the first time in nearly seven years within the three months to June. Such data has exacerbated worries that the UK might fall into another recession.

The Office for National Statistics has revealed that output in the UK has fallen by 0.2%, a decrease from its growth of 0.5% at the start of 2019.

The YouGov/CEBR poll further revealed that consumer confidence continued its long-term decline as its index came in at 104. Although it was above the 100 barrier that separates positive and negative sentiment, the reading was below its pre-referendum levels of up to 115.1.

The most significant falls in confidence were for future house prices, which fell from 116 in July to 106 this month. The outlook on household finances for the coming year has also fallen further into negative territory, dropping from 98.1 to 94.8.

Nina Skero, director at the Centre for Economics and Business Research, said: “Economic commentators have been warning of a heightened recession risk and our latest research shows that their expectations are matched by those of the general public. These fears have led to a gloomier housing market outlook, suggesting transaction numbers and prices are about to come under even greater pressure.”

However, attitudes towards job security have improved with consumer confidence rising from 91.2 in July to 93.4 in August and the outlook for the coming year up from 109.8 to 112.6. Despite a feeling of public security concerning their jobs, the poll has revealed that 63% of respondents believed unemployment would increase during the coming year. Of those, 16% said that unemployment would climb by “a lot”.

Oliver Rower, director of reputation research at YouGov, said: “Britons have grown progressively more cautious about the future over the last few years, and we see growing concern about house prices and the wider economy.”



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