Consumer confidence is at a 12-month low after the snap election

LONDON — Consumer confidence is at its lowest point since the immediate aftermath of the Brexit vote, according to a closely-watched survey.

GfK’s consumer confidence index declined by 5 points to -10 in June, the market research company said on Friday. It is the lowest reading since June 2016, when the index hit -12.

Joe Staton, Head of Market Dynamics at GfK, says in a release: “This month’s survey covers the period before and after the UK general election and reveals a sharp drop in confidence among consumers across all measures.

“We have falls this month reflecting negative sentiment about our personal financial situation and expectations for the wider economy.”

GfK’s personal finance reading, a sub-measure that makes up the overall confidence figure, declined by 3 points to -1. The outlook for the economy category declined by 2 points to -23.

Staton says: “All this concern will worry the UK’s retailers, with this month’s plunge in the Major Purchase Index (down eight points) reflecting our increased caution over non-food spending and our softening appetite for debt.”

New figures, also released on Friday by Lloyds Bank, show business confidence plummeted in June, following the snap general election at the start of the month that returned a hung parliament.

Staton says: “Strong consumer spending has propped up the economy since last June but now the twin pressures of higher prices and sluggish wage growth are squeezing household finances and adding to widespread fears of a Brexit-induced economic slowdown.”

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