UK consumer sentiment weakened moderately in March ahead of the national lockdown announced to stop the coronavirus outbreak, survey results from the market research group GfK showed Tuesday.
The consumer confidence index fell two points to -9 in March. However, the score was better than the expected level of -15.
The survey was carried out during the first two-weeks of March, when the coronavirus was headline news but not impacting day-to-day lives of people across all UK nations to the degree as seen today, Joe Staton, client strategy director at GfK, said.
“While we have a long way to drop before we match the devastating numbers seen in July 2008, when the Overall Index Score crashed to -39 points, we are likely to suffer further deterioration now that we are in lock-down in Britain,” Staton added.
Among sub-components of the index, only the indicator measuring changes in personal finances over the last twelve months increased in March, by three points to +2. Meanwhile, the forecast for personal finances over the next year decreased to +3.
The indicator for the general economic situation over the last 12 months remained unchanged at -23. At the same time, the expectations for the general economic situation declined six points to -27.
The major purchase index decreased eight points to -2 in March. Likewise, the savings index declined ten points to +10.