Vaccine rollout boosts consumer confidence

New research has revealed that UK consumer confidence is on the up, thanks to the rapid rollout of the Covid-19 vaccine, reports Retail Gazette.

The GfK consumer confidence barometer has shown a significant improvement in consumer confidence during March this year, with people getting ready for a restriction-free (and hopefully pandemic-free) future.  

According to the research, the score jumped seven points to -16. This marks the third consecutive month the score has risen in 2021 and is the highest reading since the coronavirus crisis impacted consumer sentiment. 

The score has also risen higher than previous forecasts by economists who were polled by the Wall Street Journal. Their prediction was that the barometer would only increase to -20 in March. 

Consumer confidence has been given a boost for a number of reasons. Sentiment about personal finances has increased by six points, and there is a growing feeling of hope for the economy over the coming 12 months, which rose by 13 points on the scale.  

When the pandemic first hit the UK in 2020, consumer confidence plummeted. However, over the last two months the indicator has gained more than half the ground it lost at the start of April last year – and with the vaccination continuing to be rolled out, the hope is that this upward trajectory will continue. 

Speaking about these findings, GfK’s client strategy director Joe Staton said: “Spring is in the air on the back of well-received Budget announcements, the successful vaccine rollout and roadmaps in place for ending lockdown.” 

Staton noted that all five measures making up the consumer confidence barometer had increased from February. 

He continued: “If this improved mood translates into spending, it might help reverse some of the economic damage the UK has suffered.” 

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