GfK NOP’s Consumer Confidence headline index has risen 1 point from – 8 to -7: four points lower than this time last year.
Four of the five index measures this month have seen a decrease. The annual moving average remains the same as last month at -6.
Divisional Director at GfK NOP, Carol Bernasconi, said, “Despite a modest increase in the index, the underlying trend is still not one of optimism.
“This month consumers may have been surprised by the rise in interest rates, their feeling about personal finances and the general economic situation is less optimistic than last month.
She added, “People feel that now is a good time to make major purchases, as we record a substantial increase in this index, a pattern that we also saw this time last year. With interest rates increasing, consumers are also saying now is a good time to save.”
Personal Financial Situation
The index measuring changes in personal household finances during the last year has seen a decrease this month. Dropping by 2 points, it now stands at -3, which is two points higher than the level recorded in January 2006.
There has been a change of opinion regarding the outlook for household finances over the next year. This index has dropped by two points from +11 to +9 this month; 1 point lower than in January ’06.
General Economic Situation
Views on the general economic situation of the country during the last twelve months have seen a drop of two points this month, down to –31. In January 2006 the index was seven points higher at –24.
There has been a small drop in expectations for the general economic situation during the next twelve months with the index decreasing by one point to –20, reversing the increase seen last month. In January 2006, the index stood five points higher at –15.
Climate for Major Purchases
The major purchases measure has seen the most significant change with an increase from -4 in December 2006 to +10 this month. There was a similar increase recorded in January 2006, when the index stood at +17, and maybe a reflection of the January sales effect.
The ‘now is a good time to save’ index has seen an increase of six points this month and is now at +34. This is the highest this score has been since September 2006. And the figure is four points higher than in January 2006.
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