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Consumer confidence in May 2022

Summary

  • Consumer confidence in both the future UK economy and future household finances picked up slightly in May, but remains very low.

  • Confidence in current household finances remains lower than recent months

  • There was a sharp uptick in worry about housing costs. Eight in ten (78%) renters and two-thirds (65%) of mortgage holders in our sample told us they were worried about housing costs.

Confidence in the future economy increases slightly

Consumer confidence in the future UK economy increased in May, following a dramatic fall in March, though it still remains firmly in the negative. 61% of consumers think the UK economy will worsen over the next 12 months, whilst just 14% think it will improve, giving a net confidence level of -47. 

Though this is an improvement on the -64 seen in March, it marks a steep decline from the +26 seen this time last year. Confidence in future household finances shows a similar pattern. It increased to -28 this month compared to -40 in March, but remains well below the +12 seen a year ago. It is the fifth lowest month we have on record going back to 2012. 

Confidence in current household finances has typically been much stronger, although it has trended downward over the past year. Confidence was at +21 this month, compared to +41 in May of last year. A fifth (22%) of consumers described the financial situation of their household as poor.

Worry about prices remains extremely high

Although confidence in the future economy and household finances has increased slightly, concern around the prices of energy, food and fuel remains at record high levels. Nine in ten consumers are worried about energy prices, as are 84% about food and fuel prices.

 

Worry about housing costs also increased this quarter, by ten percentage points, having remained fairly stable up to now. 63% of consumers said they were worried about housing costs in May, compared with 53% in February. This is particularly evident among renters with eight in ten (78%) renters in the sample saying they were worried about housing costs.

Contact us

If you have any questions or would like to find out more, please email Sophie Beesley at consumerinsight@which.co.uk

Published on 31.05.22

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