UK confidence has hit its highest level since 2005, and is second in Europe only to Denmark. This is the finding of Nielsen’s Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions. The UK Consumer Confidence Index is up four points from 99 in the second quarter of 2015 to 103 in the third quarter.
A score over 100 shows optimism, whilst a score under 100 indicates pessimism. As optimistic consumers no longer procrastinate and return to buying mode, its time for some serious marketing.
Reasons to be cheerful in 2015
This is the seventh time that the index has risen in a row since the quarterly survey began in 2005. The growth in consumer confidence is borne out of improvements in our economy since the recession. Unemployment reduced to 5.4% by August 2015, the lowest it’s been since March to May of 2008 according to the Office for National Statistics.
The Nielsen study showed people are optimistic because of:
- Better personal finances – more people feel positive about their finances
- Their ability to spend – more people also feel positive about making purchases
- Less pressure to save – the number of people reporting that they’d changed their spending habits in order to save money dropped to its lowest level since the survey began.
All of these indicators are great news for UK business.
Consumer confidence back in 2006
The last time confidence levels exceeded 100 was back in 2006. It was a very different time.
Were we happy and confident then because:
- Tony Blair was our Prime Minister?
- Daniel Craig made his debut as James Bond in Casino Royale?
- The Queen celebrated her 80th birthday?
- Helen Mirren won ‘Best Actress’ for her role as The Queen?
- The nation enjoyed a summertime heat wave?
Of course the economy was in a blissfully expansive state prior to the banking melt-down that has had repercussions for so many of our businesses.
Economic stability is certainly the sunshine we all need. This latest survey reflects the national mood. No one’s going mad yet. But we are increasingly buoyant in our outlook and better positioned than the majority of our European neighbours.
Optimism means that the days of consumers putting off making buying decisions have now gone. For consumers it’s time to buy. For business, that means the time has come for some determined marketing efforts. After all, you’ll want your brand and your business to be their first choice.