Consumer confidence in the UK economy has nosedived at the fastest rate in 22 years post-Brexit, according to a new survey from market research firm Gfk.
The survey, conducted in the week or so after the Brexit vote, found that consumer confidence in the UK fell by 8 points following the EU vote.
It is the largest decline since late 1994, when Britain was in the middle of a recession and a housing crash.
On a region-by-region basis, confidence fell the most in the north of England and Scotland, dropping by more than 10 points. In the south, including London, it eased just two points. 16-29 year olds were the most optimistic consumers overall, despite their confidence falling 13 points.
Products that are so-called ‘discretionary’ purchases, including things like holidays and eating out, are among the hardest hit sectors adversely affected by negative consumer spending in the post-Brexit economic landscape.
Joe Staton, Gfk's head of market dynamics, told the press: 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.”