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The cost of living crisis has sent British consumer confidence plummeting to its lowest level since the pandemic, as rising food and energy bills hammer families.
There has been a “significant and sustained decline in consumer confidence”, resulting in the largest one-year drop in confidence since the global financial crisis, according to a new report from PwC this morning.
Its UK consumer confidence index fell to -20 this month, from +10 last summer. That’s barely above the -26 recorded at the start of the pandemic two years ago.
PwC warns that this dramatic drop shows the impact of the cost of living crisis across the UK.
Lisa Hooker, Industry leader for consumer markets, PwC UKsaid:
“This change in sentiment is both significant and sudden, with consumer expectations for spending shifting towards more essential areas at the expense of discretionary items. Companies that help their customers by offering discount options are more likely to to stay faithful when things get better.”
The 30-point drop over the past nine months is the biggest sustained drop in PwC’s survey since the 2008 global financial crisis, as households face the biggest squeeze in decades.
Energy bills have just soared, and could start again in October, when food price inflation is the fastest in 10 years.
More details to follow…..
Also coming today
Eurozone finance ministers will discuss the impact of the war in Ukraine on European economies when they hold a Eurogroup meeting today, as pressure mounts for a ban on Russian gas imports.
They will also discuss how a digital euro could be designed and the trade-offs between privacy and the prevention of money laundering, illicit financing and tax evasion.
European stock markets opened slightly higher, despite concerns about rising inflation, slowing growth and the impact of war in Ukraine.
- 7am BST: German trade balance for February
- 10.05am BST: Andrew Bailey, Governor of the Bank of England: speech at the Stop Scams conference
- From 2 p.m. BST: meeting of the Eurogroup of finance ministers of the euro zone in Luxembourg.
- 3:00 p.m. BST: Speech by Bank of England Deputy Governor Sir Jon Cunliffe at a European Economic and Financial Center seminar
- 3:00 p.m. BST: US factory orders for February