Consumer confidence ‘rebounds to pre-pandemic levels’

·2-min read

UK consumer confidence returned to pre-pandemic levels in the past three months as Government support helped bolster personal finances, according to new figures.

The latest quarterly consumer tracker by Deloitte improved to a reading of -9% in the three-month period to the end of June, its highest reading since the final quarter of 2019.

Deloitte’s analysis is based on responses from more than 3,000 UK consumers between June 18 and 21 2021, as the UK’s final lockdown phase was postponed.

The latest figures highlight recovering confidence amid optimism that spending will rebound further when restrictions are eased further on Monday.

For consumers, confidence in job security has risen by four percentage points compared to the previous quarter, the report said.

Debapratim De, senior economist at Deloitte, said: “The furlough scheme has been very effective in cushioning the economic blow to many individuals from the pandemic.

“With an overwhelming majority of respondents reporting increased savings, the stage is set for a consumer-driven rebound in activity.

“We expect the six months between April and September to deliver greater growth than seen over the four years before the pandemic.”

The report also highlighted a broad increase in leisure spending during the period, as pubs and restaurants were able to welcome customers inside again.

Simon Oaten, partner for hospitality and leisure at Deloitte, said: “The leisure and hospitality industry has had a torrid time, but there are encouraging signs that the stronger level of optimism amongst consumers could translate into increased leisure spending activity in the UK.

“The lifting of restrictions, improving weather and the continuation of the summer of sport, could see an acceleration of leisure sector spending during the next few months.

“The challenge for business leaders, however, will be how to juggle scarce staffing resource in order to meet this increased demand.

“Beyond this, the question remains as to whether the boost in confidence and spending will be enough to sustain the leisure sector when Government support is removed later in the year.”