U.K. Consumer Confidence Falls as Economic Expectations Darken

  • Outlook for the economy and personal finances worsens
  • All five measures used to calculate the index decreased

U.K. consumer confidence dropped in September as Britons became the gloomiest this year on the outlook for the economy, according to GfK.

The company’s sentiment index fell to 3 from 7 in August, which was a 15-year high. The decline was largely due to a more pessimistic view of the economy, with an expectations gauge dropping to minus 2 from 3.

The dip may be a temporary setback in light of recent data that should buoy sentiment, including a pickup in wages and a strengthening property market. Data on Wednesday will confirm the economy has expanded for 10 straight quarters and economists surveyed by Bloomberg forecast growth of 2.6 percent this year.

“All components of the index have dropped despite a positive U.K. news agenda of continued near-zero inflation, low interest rates and levels of unemployment, U.K. wage growth at a six-year high and the ever increasing value of our homes,” said Joe Staton at GfK. “Consumers are in a depressed ‘back-to-school’ mood this month.”

GfK’s gauge of peoples’ sentiment toward their personal financial situation in the coming 12 months fell 1 point to 6, though that’s still up from reading of 1 a year ago.

The survey of 2,000 Britons also showed a measure of their willingness to make major purchases decreased 3 points to 14. The poll was conducted between Sept. 1 and Sept. 15

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