High Street (2)

UK consumer confidence jumped nicely in August, leading some to say that we can relax, the post Brexit crisis is over. If you say so. . .

What is consumer confidence? Sometimes consumer confidence is determined by real things, such as news from employers that they are going to make redundancies. More often than not consumer confidence indexes are little more than noise.

So the media get it into their heads that there ‘are problems ahead’, consumers read the media and say ‘oh dear, there are problems ahead’, and quelle surprise, the surveys show falling consumer confidence, and then the media react by saying “see, we told you there were problems ahead.”

As has been suggested here before, it is way too soon for there to have been a significant economic impact of the Brexit vote.

In the immediate aftermath of the referendum there was a sense of panic, although there was no material change in the economy. The consumer confidence index produced by YouGo/Cebr fell sharply to a three year low in July. But then, when people realised that the roof had not fallen in, that the UK would not leave the EU for years, – at least two years but probably longer – the index saw a healthy jump, biggest rise in three and a half years, although it is still below the July reading.

And that is all there is to tell.