CONSUMER confidence fell sharply following the EU referendum vote, according to a one-off special Brexit survey carried out by research consultancy GfK.

Its overall Consumer Confidence Barometer index fell from -1 in its regular June survey to -9 following the vote. In June 215, the score was +5.

Consumers were most concerned about the general economic situation, with the index dropping 15 points to -29, from the -14 score recorded shortly before the June referendum.

“During this period of uncertainty, we’ve seen a very significant drop in confidence, as is clear from the fact that every one of our key measures has fallen, with the biggest decrease occurring in the outlook for the general economic situation in the next 12 months,” said Joe Staton, head of market dynamics at GfK.

The chart below shows the Major Purchases Index, which measures consumer propensity to spend on big-ticket goods such as home appliances, cars and furniture. It fell 12 points to -3, from +9 in June, taking it back to lows not seen since 2014.


Mr Staton added: “Our analysis suggests that in the immediate aftermath of the referendum, sectors like travel, fashion and lifestyle, home, living, DIY and grocery are particularly vulnerable to consumers cutting back their discretionary spending.

“As we’ve learnt from previous periods of uncertainty, consumers turn to well-known brands they love and trust as a guarantee of quality and value for money. Now is the time for companies to understand and respond to consumer concerns by anticipating and meeting their needs.”

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