Small increase in UK economy consumer confidence
This week, UK economists are looking for hopeful indications of a rise in consumer confidence following last week’s confirmation that the nation’s economy put in a poor performance during the first quarter of 2018. According to consensus, business expectations indicate that the consumer confidence data set to be published on Thursday by GfK will show a marginal pickup from the negative nine to eight reading, Trading Economics has reported.
Consumer confidence is a crucial bellwether for the future of economic growth in the Gross Domestic Product, especially given how heavily dependent the UK economy is on services. The weakness in the UK economy in the first quarter of 2018 is a result of a pattern of sluggish growth that partly reflects the similarly slow growth in consumer-facing businesses, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.
The ONS confirmed on Friday that output increased by as little as just 0.1% between January and March this year, which was in line with its initial estimate and marks the slowest rate of expansion seen in the UK economy since the close of 2012. One of the factors responsible for the growth dip was slowing household expenditure, though there was also a fall in the growth of business investment in comparison to the last quarter of 2017.
However, economists with Capital Economics believe the weakness in 2018’s first quarter will prove to be a temporary one partly caused by bad weather, despite the start of this year’s second quarter also opening with poor retail figures.