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MNI (London)
--UK September GfK Consumer Confidence Index -9 Vs -7 August
By Jamie Satchi
     LONDON (MNI) - UK consumer confidence worsened in September, with the GfK's
long-running Consumer Confidence Index down by two points to -9, the latest
survey data found.
     The slide in September's GfK Consumer Confidence Index was driven by
deteriorations across four of the five sub-components and gave back most of the
3-point gain notched in August, a gain that took the index to the joint-highest
level since May 2017. 
     September's -9 showing was largely in line with both the 12-month average
(-9.3) and the post-Brexit average (-8), highlighting that confidence whilst
subdued, has at least remained remained stable.   
     --BREXIT IMPACT
     Ahead of next year's formal divorce from the European Union, households
were less confident in their financial position and more pessimistic over the
general economic outlook.   
     The 'Personal Financial Situation over next 12 months' index slipped three
points to +5, only higher by last September's outturn by a solitary point. 
     Meanwhile, assessments of the general economic condition fell by two points
to -28, level with both the July outturn and the result recorded a year ago. 
     Uncertainty across both households and businesses has intensified in recent
weeks as UK Prime Minister Theresa May attempts to strike a post-Brexit deal
with the European Union. 
     --ECONOMIC UNCERTAINTY 
     "When respondents talk about their personal finances, the scores are still
positive. But for the general economy, they can only reflect on the obvious
uncertainty surrounding Brexit. That poor view of the wider economy is keeping
the headline score negative - the last positive headline was the +4 in January
2016," said Joe Staton, Client Strategy Director at GfK.
     "The danger is that consumers might capitulate on how they feel about their
personal finances. If that happens, we'll see very sharp drops indeed in the
Overall Index Score in the months up to March 2019," he added.
     --MAJOR PURCHASES UPSIDE STRENGTH
     The only index not to lose ground in September was the 'Major Purchase
Index', which held firm at August's +6 reading, in positive territory for only
the second time since May. The result suggests that households remain fairly
open to making to a major purchase.
     The UK Consumer Confidence Survey was conducted by GfK between September 1
and September 15 on behalf of the European Commission.
--MNI London Bureau; +44 203-586-2226; email: jamie.satchithanantham@marketnews.com
[TOPICS: MABDS$,M$B$$$,M$E$$$]
MNI London Bureau | +44 203-865-3812 | les.commons@marketnews.com

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