Consumer confidence has slumped in the last month, suffering the sharpest month-on-month fall since October 2010 according to the latest YouGov/Cebr Consumer Confidence Index.
The fall comes as employees grow increasingly wary about their situations at work over the next 12 months. Expectations about job security have been falling month-on-month since July and employees increasingly expect slower growth in business activity at their place of work over the coming year.
The number of employees fearing they will be laid off has also spiked sharply since July, with the measure now standing at its highest level since June 2013 as job insecurity reared its ugly head despite official statistics showing a decline in headline unemployment.
Cebr projects that the latest backward-looking GDP data will show the UK economy increased by 0.7% quarter-on-quarter in Q3 down from 0.9% in Q2, but the more recent evidence from YouGov/Cebr analysis points to growth slowing further. Indeed, Cebr expect the UK economy to grow more slowly in 2015.
Stephen Harmston, Head of YouGov Reports: “Although GDP is expected to have increased at a decent pace in Q3, the consumer confidence figures show that a lot of people are unconvinced by the recovery. While employment levels are up many jobs are low paid and unsecure, and it is these workers that are looking ahead to the coming year with some trepidation. Once again consumers are worried about work and this will create a sense of uncertainty that will have a real impact on the economy over the coming year.”
Charles Davis, Director at the Centre for Economics and Business Research: “Falling consumer confidence suggests that some of the wind is coming out of the sails of the UK recovery. Growth is slowing as turbulence across the globe and continued weakness in the Eurozone take their toll. The drop in workplace optimism suggests the UK’s workforce can see the economy slowing in their day jobs. This bodes poorly for the UK economy’s growth prospects over the next year and we expect to see a slower pace of expansion in 2015. For employees, slower growth could mean fewer jobs becoming available. The increase in the number of employees expecting to be laid off in the next year is a clear sign of Britain’s insecure recovery.”
YouGov/Cebr Consumer Confidence Index
The YouGov/Cebr Consumer Confidence Index now stands at 111.2 – it’s lowest level since January 2014. The Index has fallen by 2.9 points in the last month which is the biggest month-on-month fall since October 2010.
Employees’ workplace worries have increased since the summer. Month-on-month expectations of job security over the coming year have fallen from 111.2 in July to 107.3 in October – still above the neutral level of 100 but a sharp drop off nonetheless. Furthermore, the rate of expansion in business activity they anticipate at their workplace has undergone an even sharper fall, declining by 7.0 points in the last two months. It is now at its lowest monthly level since December 2013.
Increase in those expecting the sack
Employees’ concern about their position in the workplace has also seen an increase in the numbers who believe they will be sacked in the coming year. Fully 18% think it is likely they will be laid off in the next 12 months, the highest monthly figure since June 2013.