Post Royal Wedding: Consumers Feeling Any Better?

Following the Royal Wedding consumers still negative, but feeling better than at any point in 2011

The Bloomberg//YouGov Household Economic Activity Tracker (HEAT) reports that consumers are still worried, but that the outlook is improving. Does this mean that the Royal Wedding been the catalyst for a return to consumer optimism?

  • Future outlook is still negative, but better than in March
  • Positive outlook among workers about next year’s business activity
  • Inflation still a worry for consumers, as over 80% expect prices to rise
  • Homeowners showing a positive outlook for the first time since last summer as more expect their home values to increase over the next year than decrease

Speaking about the figures in the report Stephan Shakespeare, CEO of YouGov, said:

"Times remain challenging but, we are seeing optimism in the UK reaching its highest level in 2011. With April seeing the warmest weather on record, two four day weekends and a Royal Wedding, this may be a turning point in consumer confidence.  We will be watching keenly for the first signs that this positive trend continues in our results for May."

After reaching all-time lows in March, consumer confidence edged up to -24 (versus -36 last month) as GDP measures indicate a very slight improvement in the health of the country’s economy.

Consumer Expectations of Household Financial Situation (since Feb 2009)

While 40% of consumers expect their financial situations to get worse over the next year, this is down from 52% last month.  This optimism manifests itself in sentiment about the country’s overall economy. 

Although more consumers expect a depression in the next 12 months than an economic boom (21% vs. 4%), fewer consumers were expecting a depression than in March (27%, in a separate survey).

Full details are available at YouGov’s Household Economic Activity Tracker.

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