U.K. Consumer Outlook Becomes Bleaker Even as Lockdown Eases
Pedestrians stand in line to collect food parcels from the food bank run by Dads House charity in London, U.K. (Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg)

U.K. Consumer Outlook Becomes Bleaker Even as Lockdown Eases


(Bloomberg) -- U.K. consumer confidence dropped toward the end of the May, even as the country began to loosen coronavirus restrictions and open up some parts of the economy.

Sentiment was the weakest since the financial crisis, according to a flash measure from GfK. Households became more gloomy about the outlook for the economy and their own financial situation over the next year. Even so, they were more confident about making major purchases as some stores reopened.

“Against a backdrop of falling house prices, soaring jobless claims, and with no sign of a rapid V-shaped bounce-back on the cards, consumers remain pessimistic,” said GfK Client Strategy Director Joe Staton.

Britons are emerging into an uncertain economic future after two months of lockdown that shuttered many businesses and forced the government to step in to pay the wages of 8.7 million jobs. The economy could shrink 14% this year, according to a Bank of England scenario, with the prospect of more disruption if no post-Brexit trade deal is reached with the European Union by December.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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