Six months after the UK was given an extension to delay its departure from the EU until 31 October, the uncertainty surrounding Brexit has persisted and appears to be weighing more heavily on consumers. Additional data from our survey, indicates that over the last three months consumer confidence in the state of the UK economy was weak (-55 per cent). By contrast, confidence levels among consumers who do not own a home improved, a sign that they might be benefiting from property price growth being the slowest in six years.
Lower overall confidence
* Deloitte’s overall confidence index is the aggregate of six individual measures: levels of disposable income, levels of debt, job security, job opportunities and career progression, children’s education and welfare, and general health and wellbeing.
Consumers enter the fourth quarter in a relatively cautious mood and maybe for good reasons. While most of the UK economic fundamentals remain solid including the level of unemployment close to its historic low, there are already some signs of strain. The fact that CFOs are firmly focused on cost control means the UK may be set for weaker job and wage growth in the coming months. Our data suggests that consumers have been anticipating a deterioration in the job market for a while. The brunt of the UK’s slowdown in the last year has been borne by the corporate sector with the labour market remaining buoyant. That disconnect is unlikely to last. The UK might have just averted a recession in the third quarter of 2019, and although consumers have been quite resilient since the EU referendum, a deterioration in the jobs market could see some contraction in consumer spending especially in the discretionary categories.
- Deloitte Consumer Tracker Q2 2019 - Signs of a consumer slowdown
- Deloitte Consumer Tracker Q1 2019 - Keep calm and carry on
- Deloitte Consumer Tracker Q4 2018 - A worried nation
- Deloitte Consumer Tracker Q3 2018 - Loss of momentum
- Deloitte UK Leisure Consumer Q2 2019
- Experience is everything: The UK leisure consumer