UK Gfk consumer confidence rose to -7 in March, up from -10 and above expectation of -10. All five of the constituent measures recorded higher values. Personal financial situation over the past 12 months rose 3 pts to 3. Personal financial situation over next 12 months rose 5 pts to 10. General economic situation over the last 12 month rose 3 pts to -26. General economic situation over next 12 months rose 4 pts to -22. Major purchase index rose 2 pts to 2. Saving index rose 1 pt to 13.
Quote from the release:
“Despite the Beast from the East leaving the nation shivering under a blanket of snow, stoic UK consumers turned faintly bullish this March with a three-point uptick in the Overall Index Score to -7. Spring is in the air with increases across the board on personal finances, the general economy – over the last year and next year – and on current major purchase intentions. The prospect of wage rises finally outstripping declining inflation, high levels of employment with low-level interest rates, and finally some movement on the Brexit front appear to have boosted our spirits. It’s still a little early to be talking about green-shoots, and the core score is of course still negative, but this is definitely a movement in the right direction. Consumers are feeling a tiny spring in their step – let’s see next month if April showers dampen the mood.”